Reps Fail To Simplify Impeachment Process

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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Thursday failed in their efforts to simplify the impeachment process as contained in the 1999 Constitution.

This had to do with the alteration of Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution, which seeks to remove ambiguities in the process of impeaching the president, vice president, governors and their deputies from office.

The attempt met the brick wall, as it failed to meet with requirement of the constitution.

However, the alterations of sections 4 and 6, first alteration of Section 81 of the Principle Act met with the requirements of the constitution.

Section 143 seeks to simplify the process of removing any of the above listed officers on allegations of gross misconduct and to provide for a more transparent and democratic procedure for impeachment and removal of the holder of such office.

Sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the bill was taken at the public hearing on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 where it received endorsement and was incorporated into the bill that was presented to the House.

It failed to get the support of the two-third of the members that participated in the vote.

A total of 297 members registered to vote for the alteration of the section, two-third of which should be 198.

But 172 voted for, 122 voted against, while three (3) abstained.

The immunity of lawmakers on words spoken on the floor of the chamber got an overwhelming 301 votes that were cast, with none voting against or abstaining from the vote.

Section 81, which speaks of the ‘authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), got the addition of (f) National Security Agencies and (g) Nigeria Police.

With both meeting the requirements of the constitution, 296 members voted for (f), five (5) voted against it, while one (1) abstained; 282 members voted for (f), while 16 voted against it.


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