FAST INFO MAGAZINE: Details on How Tanko Al-Makura Survived Impeachment

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Details on How Tanko Al-Makura Survived Impeachment

The seven-member panel constituted to probe allegations of financial misconduct against Nasarawa state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, has dropped all 16 charges against the governor.

Learning from impeached governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, who refused to appear before a panel set up to investigate his activities, Al-Makura decided to appear before the panel to clear himself of the allegations. Today, August 5, the panel dismissed the charges after concluding its work and listening to the counsel to the Assembly.

The State Assembly had on Monday declared the inauguration of the panel by the State Chief Judge, Suleiman Dikko, as unconstitutional saying it would stay away from the probe. On Tuesday however, the Assembly made a volte-face, and sent a legal team led by Ocha Ulegede to represent it before the panel.

The other members of the Assembly’s legal team were John Mathew, P. A. Daffi, Steven Idikwu, Ache Obande and Abraham Aruta.

The legal team arrived at the venue of the sitting around 8.45 a.m. and took the seats marked for the state assembly.

Mr. Ulegede presented a protest letter written by the legislators and argued that some members of the panel were also members of a political party and that their appointments negated the provision of Section 188 in the composition of the panel.

He said that the provision did not give the Chief Judge absolute power to appoint members of the panel. Mr. Ulegede also said the provision stated that panel members must not belong to any political party, be a government appointee or be a person with questionable character.

The legal team said the panel had no right to set guidelines for the conduct of the sitting.

The legislators’ legal team said two members of the seven-member panel, Abdu Usman and Mohammed Keana, are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Mr. Ulegede told the panel that the House does not recognize the panel and then requested to leave the premises.

After the panel heard the protest of the counsel to the State Assembly, it went on a brief recess.

When it resumed from the recess, the panel, which had listened to Mr. Al-Makura on Monday, dismissed the 16 charges against the governor.

Although Al-Makura belongs to the APC, his deputy who is reportedly interested in the top job is a member of the PDP. The Nasarawa State House of Assembly is made up of 24 members, 20 of which belong to the PDP. Based on these factors, analysts believe the last has not been heard of the impeachment saga.

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