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Senators Trade words over Plot To Impeach Jonathan

Nigeria's senate in session

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

Senators on Tuesday traded words over existence of impeachment plot against President Goodluck Jonathan.

Abdulkadir Jajere (APC Yobe South) said it was real while Ayogu Eze (PDP Enugu North), Senator Sahabi Yau (APC Zamfara North) and Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka said nothing like that exist in the senate at the moment.

Jajere had while fielding questions from journalists after the Senate plenary session said the impeachment plot is real and that he is even number four on a list of 65 senators that had allegedly signed.

He added that the list which may be up to 70 would be submitted on Tuesday to the appropriate authority in the Senate for initiation of the move on the floor of the Senate on the 16th of this month when Senate reconvenes from its two week break over primary elections of the various political parties.

He said:   “I have signed the impeachment notice because there are impeachable offences against President Goodluck Jonathan. You are my colleagues and being a journalist who had practised journalism for 27 years and I know these things are not new.” In 2011, this senate approved N240bn as subsidy fund but the same government spent N1.7 trillion which is a clear breach of the constitution, clear breach of the appropriation act.

The business of government is to curtail excesses but this government has shown that it is incurably deficient in handling the situations in this country.

“That government cannot said it wants to continue. The president should have even resigned without waiting for him to be impeached.

“The duty of the legislature is to act as a check and balance because it is the most important symbol of democracy. If you don’t have the legislature, you don’t have the legislature, you don’t have democracy because every other arm of government exists even when there is no democracy.

“It is only the legislature that make a democracy, a government.

“As at last week, 63 of us have signed up for the impeachment, my signature was the fourth but I can confirm to you that we have 63 signatures but after the session today, two people had called me and told me that they want to sign. One of them is an APC senator who was away doing campaign because he is contesting the governorship election of his state, the other person is a PDP senator.

“The impeachment issue is not just coming now. It also a process that has started early in the year but there was a hiccup but today, there are issues that have triggered the National Assembly to do what it should do. No matter what the time, it is a three legged issue, the National Assembly will now have to initiate the process and then, submit that process to the judiciary.

“The judiciary will form a committee through the CJN, the National Assembly will carry out the verification of the committee and conclude the remaining process.

“The National Assembly will soon conclude our own side and submit the notice to the judiciary.

“As of today, the required signatures to initiate the impeachment notice had been obtained. The senate has adjourned to the 16th so by that date the impeachment notice will be presented on the floor of the senate.

“Before the end of today I can assure you that the list will swell up to 70. It is on the impeachment day that we need two-third of the members to carry out the exercise but we need only one-third, which we already have, to initiate the process. It is just a matter of one day sitting. We will just push it before the two chambers”.

However, Senator Ayogu Eze dismissed Jajere’s submissions as mere figment of his imagination when contacted over the development.

He described him as a liar and a tale by moonlight story teller. Eze said the said list is non existing in Senate and even if Jajere and some other political opponents of the President practically move to come up with such an idea on the floor of the Senate, it would be dead on arrival for them because they don’t have the required number and they cannot get it.

His words: “Put me on record, Senator Jajere is a blatant liar for saying that 65 or 70 Senators have signed his alleged impeachment list against President Jonathan. The said list is non existing in the senate and why didn’t you tell him to show you the list on which he said he is number four and in particular, asked him who is number 65 there?

“Yes, there are some political opponents of the President in the Senate or even disgruntled ones, but the fact is that even if they want to make such move, they cannot even get up to 10 and where are they even going to table such rubbish. We are waiting for them anyway.

“Even the reason reportedly cited by the senator for the so called impeachment move, stands logic on its head because how can you be bringing a non existing Offences of 2011 as impeachment Offences in 2014.

“Where were they in 2011 when the alleged offence was committed by the President and don’t they even know that three other appropriation bills had been passed by the senate after the 2011 one?

“To me Jajere is a story teller. We are waiting for him and his other signatories who are more of spirits than human beings in the Senate and let me put it to him and his other people that if they think they can intimidate the President or PDP out of power, they are just day dreaming because the man will contest the 2015 election and going by realities on ground, he will win. So the earlier they realize this, the better for them”.

He however appealed to politicians to be very cautious in their conducts and utterances ahead of the 2015 elections so as not to overheat the polity beyond manageable proportions.

Also, for Senator Sahabi Yau (APC Zamfara North) who said he was not aware of the plot and that there was no need for such a thing now which according to him, would amount to unnecessary distraction and waste of time and energy on the part of the lawmakers.

“I don’t think that there is anything like impeachment in the senate. There could be something like that in the House of Representatives but I am not aware of such development in the senate.

“Maybe some people are doing it underground but nobody has contacted me on the issue. For now it is a rumour. The process is cumbersome even though there is need for that, how are we going to finish it? It is not only a distraction but also a waste of resources and energy”, he said

Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka (Ogun, SDP) I am not aware of any impeachment process in the Senate. Nobody has approached me.

“Impeachment is a serious issue. It is not a thing that is done inside the cupboard. The process is clearly stated in the constitution.

“In any case, we are in election period, why not wait and voted out the person you think should not govern you.”

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