By Uche Amunike
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, Jos has expressed his shock at the impeachment of the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Nuhu Abok, which took place, Thursday at the State House of Assembly.
Deputy Speaker, Saleh Yipmong revealed news of the impeachment of the speaker during plenary on Thursday as Yakubu Sanda was elected as the new Speaker.
The Speaker was allegedly impeached by eight members of the house under the heavy presence of armed security personnel as plans of the lawmakers to impeach him on Wednesday night failed.
The Plateau State Speaker’s impeachment came after a viral petition on social media by a group under the aegis of Youths Rights Against Corruption (YRAC) which accused him of corruption.
The group stated that they had submitted their petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), against the speaker where they accused him of abuse of office and financial misappropriation among other things.
The petition which was titled, ‘Petition Against Plateau State House Of Assembly Speaker, Nuhu Abok Ayuba, On Gross Financial Misconduct, Criminal Breach Of Public Trust and Abuse Of Office’ was signed by the Executive Director of YRAC, Mr Abednego Musa.
Governor Lalong in his reaction, however, expressed surprise when he spoke to the new speaker, Honourable Yakubu Sanda who visited him at the Rayfield government House in Jos.
The earlier reports that stated that 8 out of 24 assembly members impeached Ayuba was confirmed by the lawmaker representing Rukuba/Irigwe constituency, Honourable Musa Agah, who told newsmen that he was at the Assembly complex when the eight lawmakers carried out the impeachment, while other lawmakers who were opposed to the Speakers removal were prevented by security agents from gaining access to the Assembly complex.
During the visit of the new Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Sanda to the government house, however,Governor Lalong disagreed with Musa Agah, insisting that 16 lawmakers signed for the impeachment of the Plateau State Speaker’s impeachment.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Macham Makut said, ‘The new Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda has led principal officers and some members of the House to the Government House to assure the Executive arm of its collaboration and cooperation in running the affairs of the State’.
The new Speaker was received at the Government House by the Secretary to the Government of the State, Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, on behalf of the Governor.
Speaking during the visit, the Majority leader of the House Hon. Naanlong Daniel said they were at the Government House in line with the tradition of the House to introduce the new leadership of the House whenever there is a change.
He said the new Speaker emerged after 16 of the 23 members of the House signed the petition to impeach the former Speaker Rt. Hon. Nuhu Ayuba Abok over a series of allegations.
Hear him: ‘The new Speaker Hon. Yakubu Sanda said the new leadership of the House will work in synergy with the Executive and Judiciary for the peace, progress and development of Plateau State’.
‘He said the House which now enjoys full autonomy will use its legislative powers to ensure that Government programs and projects impact the people at the grassroots level.’
The Secretary to the Government of Plateau state, Prof Danladi Abok Atu, while responding on behalf of the Governor and entire Executive arm, expressed his surprise at the development of the Plateau State Speaker’s impeachment, but however said that he respects the decision of the house, which is an autonomous organization with powers to manage its internal affairs and went ahead to assure the House that the doors of the Executive would always remain open for collaboration and cooperation with the Legislature in seeing that good governance and actualizing the Rescue Agenda is delivered.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt Honourable Shehu Sale Yipmong, Majority leader and 10 other members of The House of assembly accompanied the new Speaker to the Government house.