Drama as Benue lawmakers play hide and seek with ‘impeaching Gov. Ortom’
Earlier on Monday, eight Benue House of Assembly members under the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) got control of the Legislative Chambers and suspended the other 22 other members and signed impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.
Reports say the eight lawmakers gained access and control of the chambers aided by the police and state security officers.
Eight lawmakers listed corruption allegations against the governor, accusing him of misappropriating billions in public funds while state workers groan amidst unpaid salaries.
But the other 22 members of the PDP also met and suspended the eight members of the APC and declared their impeachment notice on Ortom as null and void and of no effect.
Benue State House of Assembly has 30 members in total. It would take at least two-thirds to impeach the governor. But the APC lawmakers, led by Terkimbi Ikyange, who was impeached as speaker last week by at least 22 members of the assembly, said they are capable of impeaching the governor. They reportedly took over the parliament this morning based on security arrangements provided by the police and the State Security Service.
Mr Ikyange told reporters in Makurdi Monday morning that they had passed articles of impeachment against Mr Ortom and would serve him a notice “within seven days,” the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
The 22 lawmakers loyal to Mr Ortom described his impeachment as illegal. They sat at the Old Banquet Hall, Makurdi, after being denied access to the assembly complex, NAN reported.
House Majority Leader, Avine Agbom, said Mr Ikyange, who presided over the session by the purported 10 lawmakers, had been impeached and suspended for six months, rendering his activities illegal, null and void.