I read with dismay and disbelieve the recent show of shame and gross misconduct of Kogi State House of Assembly, impeachment and replacement of Hon. Simon Achuba with Edward Onoja.
According to reports, the judicial investigative panel did not indict Achuba of any corruption whatsoever that could warrant his removal but our legislators, in obeying the dictate of the governor, impeached the Deputy Governor, forgetting the principle of separation of power.
This is an unhealthy practice for our nascent democracy. The irony and the painful aspect of the impeachment is the motive behind it and the modus of impeachment.
To a discerning mind and analyst, what transpired on the 18th October, 2019 in Kogi State House of Assembly was nothing short of a legislative coup which should not be condoned in any democratic society.
It’s ironical that immediately after the announcement of the deputy governor impeachment, Edward Onoja was forwarded for replacement and today they confirm the appointment, the position Edward Onoja has wanted to push Hon. Simon Achuba out of the system by all means.
In my assessment, the act of legislative racality on the part of Kogi State House of Assembly should not be condone in any sane society. The constitutional laid procedure for the removal of principal officer like the deputy governor should be followed to the letter. A dangerous trend is being set threatening the continuing practice of democratic structures in Kogi State if care is not taken.
I have watched with keen interest the performance of the House of Assembly in Kogi state and in my opinion the house of assembly is a skeletal of what they are supposed to be in terms of legislative vibrancy and activism. Some quota will describe the present assembly as rubber stamp legislature and her leadership.
The method employed and the manner of impeachment was a dangerous precedence for our nascent democracy. As a citizen of the state and with present level of our democratic development, one would have expected that the state house of assembly to act in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, irrespective of their political sentiment and affiliation.
As the November 16th gubernatorial election is drawing nearer, it has become expedient that we need to change the tyrant in government. The governor can wake up any day and decided to close down judiciary or scrap any government agency. It behooves on us all to ensure that we elect candidate to will uphold and respect the rule of law, elect credible leaders and not political jobbers and marauders.
Finally, the 1999 constitution provides for the full adoption of the doctrine of separation of powers and there should be full checks and balances on each of the organs of government, what we have now as state house of assembly is an addendum of the executive, a pocketed state house of assembly, otherwise the alternative is anarchy and chaos.
May the Lord rescue Kogi State!
– Omonijo Victor Kelvin
American University of Nigeria, Yola