8 Lawmakers Serve Notice of Impeachment on Ortom, Ask Benue CJ to Set up Panel
Impeached Benue Speaker Terkimbi Ikyange and seven other members Monday sat at the Assembly where they commenced impeachment proceedings against Governor Samuel Ortom.
Ikyange while briefing reporters however claimed that 12 members of the assembly reconvened for legislative duty. He said a motion was moved for the impeachment of the governor for corruption and gross misconduct.
He added that letters had been transmitted to the Chief Judge of the state and the governor.
Ikyange insisted that he remains the Speaker of the Assembly and membership of his leadership remained intact pointing that anybody parading him or herself as the Speaker or member of the leadership was only impersonating and should be ignored.
He enjoined people of the state to remain calm as the State Assembly under his leadership will continue to go on with its constitutional responsibilities in accordance with the Law.
According to him, the governor has a question to answer over the fraudulent deduction of N50 million each month for over three years from the 23 local government area of the state amounting to 33 billion.
He also accused the governor of embezzling N22 billion security vote in three years amongst others.
Ikyange also disclosed that 15 members who participated in the Impeachment proceeding against him were suspended for six months.
As early as 5am, over 300 youths in nine vehicles belonging to Benue state livestock guards and Benue state vigilante blocked the entrance of the House of Assembly complex.
Police personnel, including Mopol from Benue State Command and Abuja, later arrived and tear gassed the area to disperse the youths.
However, in yet another twist, the other 22 members of the Assembly who were earlier denied access to the house swiftly moved over to the Government House Makurdi and held their own sitting.
The new Speaker of the Assembly Titus Uba drew the attention of Nigerians to what transpired at the Assembly.
He said the police and other security operatives refused 22 of them access to the Assembly while the eight others were protected and allowed into the Assrmbly.
The house spokesman Honourable Paul Biam said a state High Court Judge had barred Ikyange from parading himself as speaker and was also suspended for six months.
He said the speaker had no business in the Assembly adding that he is an illegal speaker.
According to Biam, the Police were ordered by the court on Friday to vacate the Assembly but he said they had refused and were acting Ikyange’s script.
He said the house had further suspended the seven members that went to the Assembly with Ikyange for six months.
In his reaction to the planned Impeachment against him, Governor Ortom said the APC and the Presidency were bent on truncating democratic process in the state.
He condemned the action of security agencies in the House of Assembly saga.
Adding that the police and security agencies took side by allowing the impeached speaker to gain access to the assembly while the new speaker and other members were prevented.
He said the attempts being made to impeach him was as a result of his stand for the people of the state over herdsmen activities.
He accused Senator George Akume, the Director General of State Security Service (DSS) and the Inspector General of Police as those behind the plot.
Ortom also denied the charges against him.