Members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, who earlier on vowed not to have anything to do with the seven-man panel probing allegations of gross misconduct it leveled against the state governor, Tanko Al-Makura, have soft-pedalled on their stance and made an appearance at the public hearing of the panel in Lafia, the state capital.
The members, who are represented by a team of counsels headed by Barrister Oche P. Ulegede, said they were appearing at the hall of the Ministry of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs in Lafia, venue of the public hearing, in protest.
The other members of the legal representative team are: John Mathew, P.A. Daffi, S.O. Idikwu, O.D. Obande, and A.O. Aruta.
“Our appearance this morning for the House, is on protest”, said Ulegede, lead counsel of the legislators.
He said the whole process about the impeachment is constitutional, but added that his clients (the lawmakers), the governor, the Chief Judge of the state, all swore to protect and defend the constitution.
Giving the grounds of his protest, Ulegede said Section 188 (5) of the same constitution has been violated by the CJ in the constitution of the panel, observing that members of the panel are either registered members of the PDP, or associates of the governor.
He said his clients are not running away from the panel, but feel strongly against the suitability of its members.
It would be recalled that the panel began public sitting on Monday and had to adjourn after it announced that the 20 signatories of the impeachment notice were absence. The panel decided to send a fresh notice of hearing to the members to appear today.
After making their ‘appearance’ protest, the lawmakers’ legal representatives took their leave, insisting that they would not be party to any act in breach of the constitution. Their decision to leave was not objected to by the governor’s legal team, led by Chief Udechukwu Nnoruka Udechukwu (SAN), who said they had the right to file out of the proceedings, if they so wish.
The panel chairman, Yusuf Shehu Usman informed Ulegede that the panel took note of their appearance, and the protest, but added that the panel was not the right place to vent such grievances.