By Uche Amunike
Lawmakers in the Zamfara State House of Assembly have succeeded in impeaching the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahdi Aliyu-Gusau, during plenary Wednesday, shortly after the Assembly received the report of the committee set up by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kulu Aliyu to investigate the allegations against Gusau.
The panel, which was headed by retired Justice Halidu Soba, was made up of seven members and set up to investigate the alleged impeachable offences leveled against the Deputy Governor.
Their report has been submitted to the State House of Assembly and received by the Speaker of the House, Nasiru Mua’zu, at the Assembly complex in the State capital.
One of the members of the panel Oladipo Okpeseyi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), informed the Speaker that the committee performed their duty with the utmost integrity, while stressing that the panel was not empowered constitutionally to speak about its report or make it available to any person.
He further stated that the probe panel produced only two copies of the report and had come to the Assembly complex to present them to the speaker.
In reaction, Mua’zu assured the House to treat the report according to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In the meantime, Senator Hassan Nasiha has been confirmed as the newly appointed Zamfara State Deputy Governor, following his nomination by Governor Bello Matawalle.
In a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Balarabe and read at the plenary by Speaker of the House, Nasiru Magarya, Matawalle nominated Nasiha as the new Zamfara State Deputy Governor, after Mahadi Aliyu’s impeachment.
The motion for confirming Nasiha was moved by Majority Leader, Faruku Dosara and unanimously approved by the lawmakers. The unanimous approval of his appointment as the new Zamfara State Deputy Governor by the House, according to the Speaker, was as a result of his track record of service.
Hear him: ‘Therefore, the house has approved the appointment of Nasiha as the new Deputy Governor of the state in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended,’ he said.
Recall that the legislators declared in Gusau on Tuesday, that no court order could stop the impeachment of Aliyu-Gusau.
This was stated clearly by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Alhaji Shamsudeen Bosko, during a news conference, arguing that the process was in tandem with Section 188 (5) (7) of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution.
He went on to state that 18 out of the 24 legislators voted in favour of the impeachment of the Zamfara State Deputy Governor, after allegations of financial misconduct, failure to perform assigned duties and insubordination were filed against him.
However, even though Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja warned the Zamfara House of Assembly against the plan to impeach the Deputy Governor, following a plea by counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) and the Deputy Governor, that the court should restrain the lawmakers from carrying out their impeachment plan, Ekwo did not specifically give the restraining order. He only maintained that no party should take any action during the pendency of the matter, since parties in the suit had subjected themselves to the court’s jurisdiction.
This was what led to the constitution of the seven-man committee to investigate the embattled Deputy Governor.
Nasiha is the lawmaker currently representing Zamfara Central at the National Assembly.