Some members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have described the allegation of financial misappropriation leveled against its embattled Speaker, Abok Atuba by some of their colleagues as “false and malicious”.
They also described the impeachment of Abok by eight members of the assembly as illegal.
This was contained in a statement signed by twelve out of 24 members of the assembly, issued on Friday in Jos, the state capital.
DAILY POST recalls that eight members of the Assembly had on October 28 at about 6 a.m. impeached Abok and elected Yakubu Sanda as Speaker.
But Abok and 11 other members rejected the move, insisting that the process was illegal and unconstitutional.
Also, Sanda and his cohorts had on November 11 in a press conference accused Abok of financial misappropriation, adding that they followed due process in the impeachment.
They added that the removal of Abok had less than two-thirds majority of members at plenary, adding that it was also held at odd hours.
“Section 92(2c) (c) the 1999 constitution as amended if he is removed from office by a resolution of House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the House
“Our emphasis is that votes of not less than a two-thirds majority. Resolution for removal of presiding officers in Plateau State House of Assembly shall be by sixteen Honourable Members during plenary.
“Standing Orders of Plateau House of Assembly, 2021- Order 7 Rule 14 (biii) – Where the resolution of the House is that the allegation be investigated, an ad-hoc Committee comprising Members of all the political parties represented in the House shall be constituted to investigate the allegation.
“Order 7 Rule 14 (biv) – The Committee so constituted, shall request the holder of the office under investigation to respond in writing and such response shall form part of the Report of the Committee,”
Abok and his colleagues said that they wondered by Hon Naanlong Daniel, who read the text of the press conference held by the Santa group, has claimed ignorance of the law and legislative proceedings.
“We the undersigned wonder why Hon. Daniel struggles to explain the due process for removal of presiding officers in State Houses of Assembly as enshrined in Section 92(2c) of the 1999 constitution as altered.
“We want the general public to be aware that Daniel was privileged to undergo a series of intensive Legislative training on House Rules and procedures of Legislative Business who was the custodian of House Rules and Business because of his Former position as Rules, Business, Inter-Governmental and Inter-Parliamentary Committee.
“Beloved Press Team and public, from available evidence, you can conduct a simple investigation on the number of people that conducted the purported and botched impeachment of Abok on 28 October 2021.
” This evidence-based video is enough to clarify the issue of numbers and procedures for removal of presiding officers. We still condemn this coup on the Plateau and Bad Legislative practice.
“It could be recalled that Hon. Naanlong Daniel Gapyil moved a motion of vote of confidence on Abok in December 2019 and July 2021. We deemed it fit to let the general public know that if there were dictatorial tendencies, gross incompetence, financial mismanagement, and other false allegations as raised by Daniel then he wouldn’t have moved these votes of confidence.
“We wish to also inform the public that it was Daniel that moved a motion for the House to go for one month recess from August to September 2021 after passing a vote of confidence on Mr. Speaker in the plenary before the recess.
“Let’s put the record straight that Plateau State House of Assembly Fund Management Law provided that the fund Management Committee sits quarterly, we still wonder why Daniel and cohorts have not raised allegations on financial misappropriation for the past quarters that the Committee has met.
“We want to add that the Committee held its last meeting in August 2021 and Hon. Naanlong Daniel Gapyil was in attendance as a Member of the Committee. Note: The Fund Management Committee replaced the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F and GPC)”
The lawmakers, however, appealed to the Inspector General of Police to restore the security aides of Abok earlier withdrawn and called on him to unseal the assembly to enable them to go on with the normal legislative duties under the leadership of Abok.(Dailypost)