In an outright denial of its alleged plan to impeach Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the State House of Assembly yesterday noted that the governor’s action would determine if the lawmakers would initiate impeachment proceedings against him or not.
The lawmakers have also denied the allegations by the Solidarity Group of Nigeria (SGN) and a faction of All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State, that it threatened the governor to open the treasury of the state to fund the governorship and legislative elections in 2019.
The Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa made the remarks at a plenary yesterday, noting that the reports of the purported plan to remove the governor on the social and traditional media was fictitious and unfounded.
After the flawed primary election that produced the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, there have been reports that the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu had allegedly directed the lawmakers to commence impeachment proceedings against Ambode at a meeting in Tinubu’s Bourdillion residence.
The reports alleged that the APC national leader had not only initiated plot to impeach Ambode despite public pronouncement to support Sanwo-Olu’s candidature, but has also given a direct order to the assembly on the grounds that the governor might work against the APC.
At a plenary yesterday, the speaker denied the reports that the assembly was plotting to remove the governor if he refused to fund the governorship and legislative elections from the state treasury.
Obasa noted that the reports of some social and traditional media platform on the planned removal “were not true. I received telephone calls from prominent citizens over the alleged impeachment plan against the governor. Honestly, we had no such plan”.
He lamented that the Solidarity Group of Nigeria (SGN) and the factional Chairman of Lagos APC, Mr. Fouad Oki “have been alleging that we threatened the governor to open the state treasury for them and that we threatened to impeach him if he failed to do so.
“So, nobody can threaten us, if it happens, because we are representatives of the people. We do not need the wailers to guide us in performing our duties. It is not out of place for us to do our job,” he said.
The speaker noted that the lawmakers “are not embarking on any impeachment proceedings against Ambode now. If there will be impeachment proceedings, it will be from the governor. If there will not be any need for impeachment, it will be from him based on the governor’s actions.”
He observed that removal “is constitutional and procedural. All over the world, many speakers, senate presidents and presidents, among others have been impeached. So, nobody can threaten us if it happens because we are representatives of the people.”
To prove the assembly never initiated clandestine plan to remove the governor, the speaker noted that if there “is going to be any impeachment proceeding, it will be done in the open. As a matter of fact, there is no impeachment plan against the governor before us.
Rather than planning to impeach the governor, however, Obasa promised that the assembly had been working with Ambode and other stakeholders in the state to ensure peace and development in Lagos State.
Also speaking at the plenary, the Majority Leader of the assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade buttressed Obasa’s position, noting that the constitutional procedure for impeachment “does not encourage secrecy.
Agunbiade, a third-term lawmaker, said members of the public would definitely know if the assembly would initiate impeachment proceedings against the governor, thereby dismissing the reports of the impeachment plan.