The Nasarawa State Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Dikko on Friday constituted a seven-man panel to investigate the 16-count charge levelled against the state governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura by the state House of Assembly.
During the inauguration of the panel at the conference of the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lafia, the chief judge urged the members to carry out their duties in line with the 1999 Constitution.
The House of Assembly had on July 14 passed a resolution, directing the clerk of the House, Ego Maikeffi, to mandate the chief judge to raise a seven-man panel to investigate the governor over allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of oath of office and violation of the constitution.
The chief judge, in his address at the inauguration, said, “By virtue of the powers conferred on me by section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the letter from the honourable Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly with reference NSHA/MM/166 /VOL/ 1 /38 dated the 23rd July, 2014 requesting me to appoint a seven-man panel to investigate the governor, I hereby appoint you (members of the panel).”
According to him, the members of the panel were not members of any political party, and were to submit their report to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly in 14 days.
He, however, tasked members of the panel to be just and fair to all sides in the discharge of their duties.
Dikko stated, “No proceedings or determination of the panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.’’
Members of the panel include Mohammed Sabo Keana, Rev. Dr. Joel Galadima (Rtd.), Alhaji Adbu Usman, Samuel Chaku, Mohammad Sani Usman, Pastor David Chaga, and Yusuf Shehu Usman as chairman.
The House members had on July 14, 2014 decided to serve a notice of impeachment on the governor.
After unsuccessful attempts to access the governor, the lawmakers decided to publish the notice in some newspapers.
The 20 Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers, who had fled to Abuja since the impeachment moves started, returned to the House on Wednesday when they directed the chief judge to set up the panel.
Meanwhile, the governor had called on supporters of the All Progressives Congress to resist any attempt by the state legislators to impeach him.
The governor stated this while addressing APC supporters who protested against the move to remove Al-Makura.
He said, “The resistance is based on the fact that the present government in the state was democratically put in place by the Nasarawa electorate through a transparent election.”
He commended the people of the state for bringing his government into power.
He said that the change in Nasarawa State in 2011 was what people desired and accordingly, he implored them to remain resolute and watch development in the state.
Al-Makura urged the APC supporters not to allow anybody to tear the state apart.