Law News
Impeachment: N’Assembly may take over Kogi Assembly

There were indications on Thursday that the House of Representatives might invoke constitutional provisions for the National Assembly to take over the Kogi State House of Assembly, owing to the brewing crisis in the state assembly.

Investigations showed that both the majority All Progressives Congress and the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party caucuses in the House of Representatives began discussions on Thursday on how to prevent a possible breach of peace in Kogi State.

Tension had mounted in the state since Monday after five out of the 20 members of the House announced the ‘impeachment’ of the Speaker, Momoh Jimoh-Lawal.

The five also sacked the Deputy Speaker Mr. Alih Ajuh, and the Majority Leader, Mr. Kolawole Matthew.

But on Wednesday, Jimoh-Lawal and 14 of his colleagues protested the “illegality” of the impeachment by filing a petition at the House of Representatives in Abuja.

The petition was submitted to the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, for transmission to the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

Findings indicated that the petition would be formally laid before the House on Tuesday next week.

“What the House is going to do is to prevent a possible breach of law and order in Kogi State.

“From what we have heard, the crisis will deepen and the House has a responsibility to invoke our laws to contain the situation before it gets out of hands,” a senior National Assembly official told The PUNCH on Thursday.

The official noted that “the 1999 Constitution (as amended) under its general provisions in Chapter One”, made a provision for how the National Assembly could intervene whenever any state assembly was in crisis and could not perform its duties.

Meanwhile, fourteen out of 20 members of Kogi State House of Assembly have summoned Governor Yahaya Bello to appear before the House.

The 14 members are said to be loyalists of the allegedly impeached Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Mr. Momoh Lawal.

The governor is to explain reasons why he sent permanent secretaries, directors, accountants, cashiers of parastatals, agencies, ministries and council areas on compulsory leaves.

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