Impeachment: Investigative panel on Zamfara deputy governor begins sitting

The seven-man panel set up to investigate alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office leveled against Zamfara Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahdi Aliyu-Gusau, commenced sitting on Monday.

The panel has Justice Halidu Tanko-Soba as Chairman, with Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), Abdul-Atadoga Ibrahim (SAN), Hussaini Zakariyau, (SAN), Amina Tanimu-Marafa, Alhaji Sani Mande and Ahmad Buhari-Rabah, as members.

At the sitting in Gusau, Secretary to the Panel, Sani Tsafe, confirmed that he had served the Deputy Governor with all the necessary Processes/Notice through electronic means.

Tsafe told the panel that he forwarded the Notice to the Aliyu-Gusau’s verified email and WhatsApp platform, and presented the scanned copies as evidences of successful delivery.

Counsel to the complainant (Zamfara House of Assembly), Nasiru Jangebe, presented seven witnesses who would testify during the sitting of the panel.

It would be recalled that Zamfara Chief Judge, Justice Kulu Aliyu, had on Feb. 14, inaugurated the Panel following a request by the State House of Assembly, in a letter signed by its Speaker, Nasiru-Muazu Magarya, on Feb. 10.

The Assembly had at its sitting on Feb. 7, served the Deputy Governor with a Notice of Impeachment over alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office.

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However, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on Monday, Feb.14, warned the Zamfara House of Assembly against the plan to impeach the Aliyu-Gusau.

Justice Inyang Ekwo had issued the warning after Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), counsel to the Deputy Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), prayed the court to restrain the lawmakers from carrying out the plan.

Although Justice Ekwo did not specifically give the restraining order, he had held that since parties in the suit had subjected themselves to the court’s jurisdiction, no party should take any action during the pendency of the matter.

The legislators had on Feb.15, declared that no court order could stop the impeachment of the Deputy Governor, quoting a section of the Constitution to buttress their stand.

“No court can stop the impeachment,’’ Chairman, House Committee on Information, Alhaji Shamsudeen Bosko, told newsmen in Gusau.

Bosko argued that the process (impeachment) was in line with Section 188 (5) (7), as well as Section 190 of the 1999 Constitution.

They said 18 of the 24 legislators voted in favour of the impeachment when allegations of financial misconduct, insubordination, and failure to perform assigned duties, were filed against Aliyu-Gusau.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Deputy Governor did not appear before the panel on Monday, and did not send a legal representation.

He had, at a news conference on Feb. 20, in Abuja, described the Panel as illegal, “because there is a court order restraining the lawmakers from their impeachment plans.


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