Eight (8) members of the Benue State House of Assembly in what appears to be a joke served an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.
The 8 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers who are seeking the governor’s removal, listed corruption allegations against Ortom, accusing him of misappropriating billions in public funds and leaving workers to groan without salaries.
The lawmakers accused him of squandering N54billion in state funds, N22billion for security votes and more.
The lawmakers added that salaries of teachers and other state government staffs were not being paid.
What is however surprising is that these 8 lawmakers who cannot form a quorum took over the State House of Assembly (reportedly with the help of security agencies), suspended 22 other members, before serving the impeachment notice on the governor.
The Benue State Assembly has 30 members in total, and it would at least require two-third of it to impeach the governor.
These 8 members were reportedly led by the Assembly’s former speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, who was impeached last week.
The former speaker who is confident that 8 of them are capable of impeaching the governor said that the governor would be served a notice of impeachment within 7 days.
This is however not even possible as it requires much more members to impeach the governor as required by the Constitution and the remaining 22 members are allegedly loyal to the governor.
It is however suspicious that this is happening after Ortom dumped the ruling APC for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was a member of the APC for over 3 years and nobody talked about these issues. But he is now being crucified because of it even by Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, after he left the ruling party.
According to Mr. Ortom, lack of resources was the reason why salaries cannot be paid as Benue State only generates N250million monthly.
The 22 lawmakers who were reportedly denied access to the State Assembly described the impeachment as illegal.
The House Majority Leader, Avine Agbom, noted that the former speaker who led the impeachment of Ortom had already been impeached and suspended for 6 months. He was also barred from coming around Assembly by the court.
Governor Ortom’s spokesman, Terver Akase, who spoke to Premium Times, noted that the 22 lawmakers who are members of the PDP sat at the Old Banquet Hall, Markurdi, the state capital, after security operatives apparently prevented them from gaining access to the assembly.
“It is not illegal for them to sit anywhere, so long as they have the maze and the clerk,” Mr Akase said.
“The state is in good shape and the governor is still in his office,” he noted.
“The allegations are all lies and the attempt to impeach the governor remains illegal, null and void.”
“We call on the president to prevail on SSS and police to stop attempt to truncate democracy and rather than being an accomplice.”