The Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), a civil society organisation, on Friday urged Nigerian lawmakers to live exemplary lives by obeying the laws they enact.
Mr Wale Ogunade, President, VAI, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the recent impeachment saga in Imo, Benue, and Kano states.
Recall that on Monday, eight of the 30 lawmakers in the Benue State House of Assembly served impeachment notice on Gov. Samuel Ortom. They accused the governor of fraudulent activities, nonpayment of workers’ salaries and non-performance.
Also, members of the Imo State House of Assembly removed the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Eze Madumere, from office for alleged misconduct.
Shortly after he was removed from office, Gov. Rochas Okorocha announced the Head of Service in the state, Mr Calistus Ekenze, as deputy governor-designate, but the swearing-in has been stopped temporarily by the court.
In Kano State, members of the State House of Assembly removed the Speaker, Mr Yusuf Ata, and replaced him with Al-hassan Rurun, a former Speaker of the House.
Rerum, who replaced Ata, had in July 2017, left the office following allegations of bribery.Ogunade said the mode in which the impeachments were carried out violate the 1999 Constitution (Section 188), and are an abuse of the Rule of Law.
”The impeachment issues in Imo, Benue and Kano are political impeachments.They are not legal because at the end of the day, I can assure you that they will not stand the test of time.
”That of Imo we have already known the result, it is illegal for the Imo State Government or even the house of assembly to have taken a step that far,” he said.
According to him, there are procedures to impeachment, which seem to have been breached in the three cases.
”It is sad that our lawmakers are not obeying the laws they are enacting,” he said. Ogunade urged the lawmakers to lead by example and respect the supremacy of the rule of law.
”Nigerian politicians are always known to preach the rule rather than observing it, and I guess the forthcoming elections will teach them lessons that they must all obey rules.
”If they as lawmakers and politicians who want to rule are busy breaching the law, destroying and disturbing the system and peace of the nation, then, what do they want to bequeath to the ordinary people?
“What do they want to bequeath to the nation? They need to change and give respect to the rule of law,” he said.