Nine, of 25-Member Adamawa Assembly, ‘Impeach’ Speaker

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The lingering face-off between the executive and legislative arms of government in Adamawa State on Tuesday assumed a comic dimension when nine lawmakers believed to be loyal to the State Governor, Bala James Ngilari, sat at the conference hall of the Government House and impeached the Speaker, Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
Before now, 11 aggrieved lawmakers had issued a statement accusing Fintiri of highhandedness and unilateral closure of the house which lasted for weeks and issued a warning to the effect that by that action they had no alternative than to convene the sitting elsewhere. The development forced the speaker to shift the plenary to commence on Monday, April 20 to Monday, 27, 2015. But even at that, the lawmakers could not convene on the appointed day as the assembly premises remained under lock and key.
As the crisis escalated, 9 among the 11 aggrieved lawmakers on Tuesday convened at the Government House where they impeached the speaker and his deputy. Shortly after the 9 lawmakers arrived at the Government House, the member representing Gombi constituency, Hon. Jerry Kumdisi, moved for the appointment of Wale Fwa as Protem speaker and was seconded by member representing Girei constituency, Abubakar Umar Girei.
While leading the session, the Protem Speaker, Hon. Wale Fwa, noted that the reason for convening of the session followed consistent refusal of the Speaker to reconvene the assembly after entreaties made to him fell into deaf ears. She added that majority of the Kumdisi as the new speaker of the assembly and was seconded by member representing Yola South, Hon. Abuzarri Ribadu. In his inaugural speech, Kumdisi pledged to end the era of impunity as was entrenched by Fintiri’s leadership which led to his eventual fall.
He promised to work in harmony with the executive arm of government as the relationship was earlier frosty which affected the people of the state, adding that Fintiri also ensured that the assembly complex remained under lock and key for some months. However, he described some of the lawmakers who failed to lawmakers had lost confidence in the leadership of Fintiri as a result of which 17 members representing 2/3 of the lawmakers duly signed for the impeachment of the speaker and his deputy. “All the members who signed the impeachment notice have resolved to remove the speaker and his deputy,” she noted.
It was at that point that member representing Verre constituency, Hon. Salihu Kabillo, moved for the impeachment of the speaker and his deputy leading to the removal of Fintiri. After this, he again moved for the nomination of Hon. Jerry 4turn up for the impeachment as cowards, adding that despite their failure to show up at the sitting, the decision to impeach the leadership of the assembly remained sacrosanct as their signatures were duly appended and acknowledged.
The new speaker later moved for the adjournment of the sitting to Wednesday (today).
While reacting to what he called a nullity, the embattled speaker, Umaru Fintiri, said he remained the constitutionally recognised speaker of the assembly as those that claimed to have remove him from office did not follow due process of the law.
He said: “It beats my imagination for nine lawmakers who are under the payroll of the governor of the state to sit down with a fake mace at the Government House to effect my removal,”
“If they are right, they ought to come to the floor of the House and effect my removal not at Government House”.
Furthermore, Fintiri asked: “Is it legal to hold an impeachment process outside the Assembly complex if need be it; why must it be in Government House? It shows the governor of the state is engineering them to remove me so as to steal from the coffers of the state.
“We’ve been cooperating well the executive arm of government in the state; we were supportive in passing of bills for the sake of the governor, so what else does he want at this point in time that is only 30 days left for handing over?
According to him, the impeachment does not hold any water as it does not have any constitutional backing. He said he remained the speaker of the assembly with a scheduled sitting today (Wednesday).
“I am an elected speaker which was done in the state assembly complex and any impeachment to be carried out against me should be in the same hall of our meetings,” he added.
He said the people of Adamawa State know who their representatives are and called on the media to safeguard the truth and the constitution of Nigeria.

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