The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba has said that he remains the deputy governor of the state despite being impeached by the State House of Assembly.
Speaking through his counsel, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), in an interview with Punch, Achuba said he was not found guilty of any of the allegations against him.
Recalls that Achuba was on Friday impeached by the member of the State House of Assembly after receiving a report from a panel investigating allegations of gross misconduct.
He said he would challenge the said impeachment in court, adding that he had not been removed.
“The case is in court. They ignored the case in court. The case is coming up. We are going back to court. Nigeria is a country that should be ruled by the constitution. We are not a jungle country. There is no impeachment. From nothing, nothing comes. You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand,” he said.
Allegations not proven
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the panel investigating allegations of gross misconduct against Achuba, John Baiyeshea (SAN) said the panel did not find the deputy governor guilty of any of the allegations levelled against him, adding that the allegations levelled against the deputy governor were not proved.
“This is the most bizarre thing that I have ever heard in my life. We submitted the report to the Speaker around 1pm today and I left Lokoja for Abuja. I was at Gwagwalada area when one of the panel’s members who had not left Lokoja called to tell me that he saw it on television that the deputy governor had been impeached.
“As far as the report that we submitted to the House of Assembly is concerned, the committee returned the decision that all the allegations were not proved. What the Constitution said by Section 188(8) is that, ‘once the panel returns a verdict like that. No further proceedings can be taken on it.’ That is it. It is only when the panel returns a verdict that allegations have been proved (to be true) that they can go ahead within 40 days.
“When did the House sit? We delivered the documents and the House was not even in session today, (Friday.) Assuming the House convened, you can see that less than one hour after we submitted our report,” he said.
However, the leader of the House of Assembly, Hassan Abdulahi, representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, who had announced the impeachment, said Achuba was removed after careful consideration of the report of the John Baiyeshea Committee submitted earlier on Friday.
He said that the report was studied and deliberated upon after which a unanimous decision was arrived at to remove him and “he therefore stands impeached”.
Following allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Achuba after he accused the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, of withholding his salaries and imprest since 2017 the committee was set up in August.
The government had dismissed the allegation during a hearing by the committee.