Law News
Nine lawmakers oppose impeachment notice on Elechi

Nine members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly on Sunday said the resolution by 15 of their colleagues to pass an impeachment notice on Governor Martins Elechi was unconstitutional.

The nine legislators, who are believed to be loyal to Elechi, said that the 15 pro-impeachment lawmakers did not constitute two-third majority as required by the Constitution to impeach the governor.

According to them, only 16 out of the 24 members can constitute two-third majority of the House, and not 15.

The pro-Elechi lawmakers, who addressed journalists in Abakiliki, stressed that the “illegal” impeachment process would fail.

Spokesman for the nine lawmakers, Hon. Chima Uduma Eni, said, “Our attention has been drawn to the business of the ‘House’ of Friday, 27th day of February 2015, wherein a motion for a resolution that a notice of allegations of gross misconduct purportedly made against the Governor by fifteen members of the twenty-four member House.

“The said resolution was purportedly passed in clear contravention of Section 188 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended) which provides that ‘a motion of the House of Assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not be declared as having been passed unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-third majority of all the members of the House of Assembly’.

“Fifteen members cannot be the ‘two-third majority of all the members’ of a twenty-four member House.”

Eni alleged that “desperate attempts and overtures are being made to induce and intimidate the nine lawmakers into yielding, against the demand of justice and good conscience, to the plot for the impeachment of the Governor.”

He explained that the nine lawmakers had resolved that none of them should attempt to go to the House of Assembly complex to forestall a breakdown of law and order, and to ensure the security of their lives.

He also alleged that the Speaker, Hon. Chukwuma Nwazunku, and his “cohorts” had taken the attendance register of the House of Assembly to their principals in Abuja for the purpose of cloning the signatures of members of their faction.

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