By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Barely a week after Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, lost at the All progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary, impeachment has reigned supreme at the Kogi state House of Assembly as nineteen lawmakers impeached the Speaker, Matthew Kolawole on Friday.
The impeachment, according to the lawmakers, took effect from Monday, June 13, 2022.
This came bearly two hours after the speaker announced the impeachment and suspension of four principal officers.
In a press statement signed by the nineteen lawmakers and made available to newsmen in Lokoja, the members among other allegations accused Kalawole of blackmail.
According to the statement, the lawmakers accused the Speaker of diminishing the integrity and the status of the fellow elected members by serially recording meetings and confidential conversations of members with which he maliciously played for the Governor of Kogi state as a tool to blackmail members and destroy the trust and loyalty of the members to the Governor overtime.
The statement reads, “that the said Mathew kolawale used the state House of Assembly account to collect a personal loan running into hundreds of millions of naira to the detriment of members of the house.
“That all the undersigned 19 members upon being perplexed and vexed at the obvious evil behaviour and machinations of Mr Mathew Kolawale met and decided to constitutionally impeach the said Mathew kolawale to wit signatures were collected and the said Matthew Kolawole impeached and a Speaker Pro Tempore duly elected amongst members.
The statement further stated that their actions is according to the standing order of Kogi State House of Assembly that Mondays and Fridays are meant for committee business and oversight functions and not plenary. That for the business of of plenary and by extension resolutions to be effected, a proclamation must be made a minimum of 48 hrs before the date of sitting. This then goes to the fact that all the activities of the intimidated and kidnapped members under the impeached Mr Mathew kolawale today are null and void abinitio and cannot stand the test of legality.
Finally, all undersigned members pledged their unalloyed loyalty to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello and the party that brought them to power, the All Progressive Party (APC).
“We hereby adopt the following Resolutions for his removal and Suspension as follows:
“That it be resolved:- and it is so resolved that Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole, is hereby removed/impeached as the speaker, of the Kogi State House of Assembly with effect from today Monday, the 13th day of June, 2022 in accordance with Section 92 (2) (C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and suspended from the House pending the final report from the House Committee on ethics and privileges upon investigation of the allegations bordering on gross misconduct in accordance with Order 10 Rule 65 Sub 12 of the Kogi State House of Assembly Standing rules.
“For avoidance of doubt, Section 92 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended provides that: “The Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly shall vacate his/their offices if they are removed from office by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the House.”
“Accordingly, this Resolution is supported by the following Honourable Members:
List Of Signatories
1. Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed -Deputy Speake
2. Hon. Bello Hassan Abdullahi – Majority Leade
3. Hon. Ndako Idris Muhammed-DML
4. Hon. Edoko Moses Ododo- DCW
5. Hon. Enema Paul
6. Hon. Ibrahim Usman
7. Hon. Prince Hilarion Collins Musa
8. Hon. Kilani Olusola Olumo
9. Hon. Umar Isah Tanimu
10. Hon. Daniya Ranyi
11. Hon. Ahande Oke Moses
12. Hon. Suleiman Attajachi Musa
13. Hon. Atabor Cosmas Ilemona
14. Hon. Ujah Alewo Anthony
15. Hon. Ahmed Dahiru
16. Hon. Aderonke Aro
17. Hon. (Alh) Musa Jimoh
18. Hon. Atule Egbunu
19. Hon. Mohammed Lawi Ahmed
In the meantime, the House of Assembly premises and adjoining roads have been taken over by security personnel. The move is to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
As at the time of filing this report name of the new Speaker has not been mentioned.
The Kogi State House of Assembly crisis, according to a source, was as a result of delegates from the state who failed to vote for the 47-year-old Kogi state governor at the just concluded APC Presidential primary.
Other sources also said that the development was as a result of the power play between the state deputy governor, David Onoja, and the Chief of Staff to the governor, Muhammed Asuku, who some thought are warming up to take over from their principal in 2024.