Eight crucial pauses on the way to genuine impeachment
In Benue and Kano states, the speakers of the Houses of Assembly lost their positions to impeachment.
However, in the case of governors, there are eight crucial huddles that the lawmakers must pause and ponder over before accomplishing the constitutional legitimate removal of a state executive.
The initial step begins with serving a notice in writing alleging gross misconduct against the governor.
This notice, which must be signed by no fewer than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly, is then presented to the Speaker.
Note that the gross misconduct must be, according to the constitution, “…a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct.
Thereafter, the speaker of the House of Assembly should within seven days, serve the governor and each member of the state legislature with a copy of the notice of allegation.
Then, the governor exercises his right of reply (he/she does not have to reply however), and any such statement in reply to the allegation must be served on each lawmaker.
The fourth stop is that within 14 days of the presentation of the notice to the speaker, the Assembly shall resolve by motion without any debate whether or not the allegation shall be investigated.
This motion needs to be passed by at least two-thirds majority of all members of the House.
After that step, if the motion fails to reach the required majority, the process immediately stops, and no further action will be taken.
However, if the required majority is obtained and it is passed, then the speaker of the Assembly will within seven days of the passing of the motion, request the Chief Judge of the State to appoint a panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity to investigate the allegations.
The members of the panel cannot be members of any public service, legislative house or political party.
The sixth point is where the panel reports its findings within three months of being appointed.
The findings will be reported to the Assembly and during the proceedings of the panel; the governor shall have a right to defend himself, and shall also have the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his/her choice.
Should the process come to where the panel reports that the allegation has not been proven, there will be no further action.
However, if it says that the allegation against the governor has been proven, then the Assembly will consider the report, and a resolution for its adoption shall be moved.
And finally, for the resolution to be adopted, it must be supported by not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of the Assembly.
Once adopted the governor shall stand removed from office as from the date of the adoption of the report.
Given the above, can the impeachment be concluded in two days? Review the above points.
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