The National Assembly and the Chief Justice of Nigeria have a responsibility to the constitution by condemning the impeachment travesty that took place in Kogi State, including adopting an urgent legislative resolution protecting the judiciary from being coerced into carrying out an illegal swearing of a new deputy governor, said Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution.
The group is also warning that except the “legislative coup” orchestrated by the Kogi State House of Assembly and shamelessly supervised by Gov. Yahaya Bello is immediately reversed, the country risks being thrown into another despicable season of executive recklessness and intimidation.
CDNDC in a statement by its Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said: “the Chief Justice of Nigeria must ensure that the judiciary is protected against being coerced, harassed, intimidated and subdued into swearing in a new deputy governor, as the executive is plotting to do in Kogi.
“The CJN has been speaking against the reckless disobedience of judicial pronouncements in the country, the time has therefore come for him to demonstrate his resolve in defence of the judicial arm of government by taking a stand on the legislative aberration that took place in Lokoja.
“The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, is very clear that once a no-guilty verdict is returned on a candidate slated for impeachment by a judicial panel set up by the state Chief Judge, the entire process becomes functus officio and no further action can be taken on the matter.
“The embattled deputy governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba has been acquitted of all allegations levelled against him, and there is absolutely nothing the state legislators and his tormentor-in-chief, Gov. Bello can do about it other than to respect this judicial decision.
“We are also calling on the National Assembly to adopt a bipartisan position and unanimously pass a resolution that condemns this despicable affront against the constitution and that also empowers the state judiciary to disregard any mounting pressure from the executive.
“The National Assembly and the Judiciary must see this development as an opportunity to break with the rising executive lawlessness in the country, which they have terribly condoned and should this time elect to side with democracy and the constitution.
“The people of Kogi must also come out to protest this rising illegality in their state and ensure that Yahaya does not completely destroy its already endangered civic space,” the statement added.