Politics Nasarawa Lawmakers Have no Right to Nullify Impeachment Panel's Ruling on Al-Makura- Sagay



Prof. Itse Sagay, a constitutional lawyer, on Thursday said the only option now open in the attempt to impeach Nasarawa State’s Governor Tanko Al-Makura was that of going to court.

Sagay told newmen in Abuja the Nasarawa State House of Assembly members were not lawyers who could reject decisions of the probe panel set up.

He said this was because the Chief Judge of the state had the constitutional right to set up the panel.

The lawyer also said they (the aggrieved lawmakers) could only go to court to seek a declaration that the process of selection of members of the panel was invalid.

"They are not lawyers, and they are not a court. So, they cannot declare the findings of the panel as unacceptable.’’

The Chief Judge has an almost absolute discretion about the selection of members of the panel. The only body that can supervise or judge in this regard is a High Court.

"So, they have no right to reject anything. But they have a right to go to court for the panel to be declared illegal,” he said.

Sagay however said even if the House members went to court, the case might not be decided before the end of Al-Makura’s tenure as governor of the state.

"For me, on a practical note, we can say the impeachment of Al-Makura is permanently over. This is because, even if the court fights for them, there is going to be an appeal to the Court of Appeal. And, if it is not in their favour, there is going to be an appeal to the Supreme Court. By the time all that is over, Al-Makura might have probably started a second term if he wins the next election,” he said.

The constitutional lawyer said even if the House succeeded at the highest level, the only option left was to start the process all over by appointing another panel of inquiry.

He therefore advised the House to "bid the impeachment goodbye forever’’.

Similarly, a Professor of Law at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Mohammed Ladan, said the Nasarawa State House of Assembly could challenge the panel in a court of law.

Ladan said even though the allegation leveled against the panel by the lawmakers was valid, it was only the court that could invalidate the composition of the panel.

He said it was more acceptable for the lawmakers to go to court, than to instigate members of the public to resort to violence.

"The constitution of the panel is actually within the purview of the Chief Judge. So, any party that is not interested can go to the court of law. The allegation that some of the panel members are politicians and civil servants is for the court to decide,’’ the lawyer said.

Ladan, however, said even if the House resorted to a court action, it would not automatically win the case, saying the court would have to carry out investigations into the matter.

"In this case the court will make a finding as to whether or not the composition of the panel affected its outcome,’’ he said.

#Nasarawa #Al-makura #Sagay

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