8 law Maker’s makes move to impeach ortom

While eight of the 30-member lawmakers of the Benue State House of Assembly served Governor Samuel Ortom, who recently defected from the the All Progressives Congress (APC), a Notice of Impeachment, Imo and Kano states lawmakers gave deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere and speakers, respectively, the boot.

In the early hours of yesterday, there was a full deployment of security operatives allegedly carrying out orders from above who stormed the premises of the Benue State House of Assembly firing tear gas canisters. They prevented the 22 members from accessing the House chambers but were said to have allowed the Ikyange-led group of eight entry.

Meanwhile, anger and condemnation has trailed the action of the eight lawmakers, who purportedly egged on by security operatives, invaded the House of Assembly. According to investigations, two factions of the House, locked in supremacy battle, sat at different locations to impeach Governor Ortom and suspend themselves.

Last Tuesday, 22 members of the Assembly who had earlier on Friday impeached Speaker Terkimbi Ikyange and installed Titus Uba as Speaker, also moved a motion for his (Ikyange) suspension for six months.

However, Ikyange who had continued to insist that he is still the speaker, was said to have mobilised seven other APC lawmakers, amid tight security, to commence an impeachment process on Governor Ortom.

The armed security had barricaded the area leading to the chamber to pave the way for the Ikyange-led faction to hold their plenary.

The faction was also said to have suspended 15 members from the Uba-led faction for “gross illegality.”

However, members of the Uba-led faction, who wondered how a group of only eight would claim they sat without the clerk of the House, his deputy and the Mace to take any decision, at an emergency seating at the old Banquet Hall of the Government House, fought back by suspending the seven lawmakers.

But Ikyange told newsmen shortly after leaving the premises of the Assembly that about 12 members sat to commence impeachment process against the governor over alleged embezzlement of local funds to the tune of N33 billion, non-performance and other sundry issues.

But Governor Ortom did not onlt dismiss the move as laughable, illegal and impunity of the highest order, he vowed to employ all legal means to tackle the anomaly.

He also condemned the heavy deployment of policemen and DSS acting on the directives of the Inspector General of Police and Director General of DSS with the active connivance of Senator George Akume, to forcibly gain entry into the chambers of the Assembly to carry out illegality.

Ikyange, Okefe, Adanyi risk contempt of court

IIkyange, his Deputy, James Okefe and former Majority Leader, Benjamin Adanyi are to appear in court to explain why an order for their committal to prison should not be made against them for disobeying the injunction earlier issued by the court presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Adam Onum.

The state High Court also served an order on the affected lawmakers restraining them from parading themselves in the capacities of principal officers which they previously operated.

This is even as 22 members of the Benue State House of Assembly have filed contempt proceedings against Ikyange, Okefe and Adanyi.

The Commissioner of Police, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 4 Makurdi, Inspector General of Police, the Nigerian Police Force as well as the Director, Department of State Services (DSS), Makurdi were also joined in the suit.

It’s plot to declare emergency rule – PDP

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the notice of impeachment served on Ortom is a ploy by the APC-led Federal Government to precipitate crisis so as to declare an emergency rule in the state.

The PDP stated this in a communique issued at the end of an emergency meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja yesterday.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who read the communique to journalists said the opposition party’s NWC condemned in strong terms the plot by eight out of the 30 lawmakers to impeach Ortom.

This is coming as indications emerged that the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus has directed governors elected on the party’s platform to proceed to Benue State immediately in solidarity with Ortom.

A highly placed party source said Secondus told the governors not to fly into Makurdi, the Benue State capital, but to either assemble in Abuja or Enugu, from where they will drive in a convoy into the state, to show the people that the opposition party identified with them.

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