All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned what it termed renewed plan by the Nasarawa House of Assembly to impeach Governor Tanko Al-Makura.
The party urged them to give peace a chance, return to Lafia from Abuja and continue with their constitutional duties, since they had earlier tried and failed to remove the governor.
The party’s reaction was contained in a statement issued on Sunday, by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The APC, in the statement, said the Nasarawa lawmakers were bent on “thumbing their nose at the constitution in their desperation to remove the Al-Makura, who it noted had been cleared of the charges against him by a duly constituted impeachment panel.”
The party observed that it would amount to an illegality for the lawmakers to draft a pliant vacation judge, as it had been reported, to set up another panel to probe the same 16 allegations over which the governor had been absolved of any wrongdoing.
According to APC, the 1999 Constitution was clear that only the chief judge of the state could set up such a panel, upon receiving a request from speaker of the House of Assembly.
It said that any attempt to draft a vacation judge to set up another panel would amount to working against the spirit and letter of the same constitution which gave the legislature the impeachment power in the first instance.
The APC argued that Al-Makura cannot be impeached on the basis of the same allegations, noting that if indeed, the lawmakers wanted to follow the constitution, they would have to find a new set of alleged impeachable offences against him and also “notify him appropriately and then forward their request to the chief judge, not to a vacation judge.
“That this latest move by the legislators, who are now marooned in Abuja, instead of their base in Lafia, is being instigated by the PDP is not in doubt, irrespective of the unconvincing and tepid denial from the party. That this illegality is being contemplated under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan is clear for all to see.
“In fact, it is in line with the culture of lawlessness and impunity for which the Jonathan-led administration has now become infamous. This is the only reason why the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, from Nasarawa State, could be goading the state legislature to disregard the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its avowed determination to remove the governor, for no reason other than he belongs to the opposition.
“The minister is aware that he is functioning in an atmosphere that encourages impunity and that the president will not sanction him for encouraging illegality.
“It is also as clear as daylight that the kind of money being dangled at the lawmakers to impeach Governor Al-Makura at all costs could only have come from a deep purse or a war chest. With almost N30 million and other perks being reportedly offered to each lawmaker, just to take out an opposition governor, it is clear in whose interest and at whose behest such is being done,” the party said. Tribune