House Threatens to Sanction PDP Caucus Leader over Buhari’s Impeachment Call

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•Opposition party cautions legislature
•Lawmaker faults sanction bid

Chuks Okocha, Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives has said it will take disciplinary measures against a member, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, for calling for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chinda is the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House and is representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency in Rivers State.

The House Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa, during plenary yesterday, said Chinda was not representing the position of the PDP caucus of the House as he claims and is acting alone.

Chinda, however, faulted the bid, saying that the threat is a call for sanctioning all Nigerians.

The PDP also weighed in, cautioning the House against punishing Chinda for calling for Buhari’s impeachment over his alleged failure to secure the nation.

Chinda, in a statement on December 7, had called on Nigerians to compel their representatives to commence impeachment process against the president.

The lawmaker’s call for impeachment is not unconnected with the rising cases of insecurity nationwide.

However, House spokesman, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, had described Chinda’s call as the “opinion of a single member of the opposition party in the house.”

He had said the impeachment calls were not logical as the president was yet to appear before the House to explain what his administration is doing to address the security issue.

Doguwa yesterday, however, blamed Chinda’s advocacy for the president’s decision not to honour the House’s invitation to brief lawmakers on what his administration is doing to address the security challenges in the country was due to the utterances of the lawmaker and concerns that the president would be embarrassed if he had honoured the invitation.

But Chinda queried if his call for the impeachment was unconstitutional.

He stated that Doguwa is not the mouthpiece of PDP neither is he the spokesman of the executive, adding that the majority leader should explain what he has done or said, after the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, queried the House’s power to invite the president.

He said: ”I will ask again, whether the call for the impeachment of Mr. President is unpopular with the people of Nigeria today and if truly we are not supposed to speak for the people, regardless of what our personal position is? I will also ask whether it is unconstitutional for a member to call for the president’s impeachment?

”I will also ask if the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Ado Doguwa, is a PDP member or the mouthpiece of PDP as to say that’s not the position of PDP.

“Is the Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa, the spokesperson of the executive or the mouthpiece for him to give reasons why the president reneged on his promise to brief the House?”

According to him, contrary to Doguwa’s claim, Malami gave a different reason why the president should not honour the invitation.

”His (Doguwa) call for a disciplinary measure is a call to discipline all Nigerians who believe that President Buhari is no longer fit for purpose. So, these questions if they are answered I will give a response. These are the questions troubling me and I need answers to it.”

Chinda’s Call is Legitimate, Says PDP

Reacting to the sanction threat, the PDP cautioned the leadership of the House against the bid.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Chinda, as the leader of the PDP Caucus in the House, was entitled to make such a call.

The party described the impeachment call as not only constitutional, but it represents the opinion of the caucus and the party.

“This threat to Chinda is therefore a direct signal that the current leadership of the House of Representative is not on the side of the people but has been cowed to relinquish its statutory legislative powers for selfish reasons,” PDP added.

The PDP said it was shameful that the House had reduced itself to the mouthpiece of the Buhari presidency.

“It is disgraceful for the House of Representatives to blame its own members for the blunt refusal of Mr. President’s to honour a statutory invitation by Nigerians through their elected representatives to address them on the heightened insecurity across our nation under his watch.

“If the claims by the House leadership that President Buhari failed to honour the invitation because Hon. Chinda called for his impeachment is really the case, then the nation indeed lacks a leader worth his billing.

“This is because instead of stopping President Buhari, the Chinda’s call ought to have spurred him to appear before the House and explain to Nigerians why killings, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism and banditry had escalated under his watch,” the main opposition party said.