Wednesday, 30 July 2014

National interest saved Jonathan from impeachment – Senator

Domingo Obende

A senator representing Edo North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Domingo Obende, has said that the senate jettisoned impeachment moves against President Goodluck Jonathan in the interest of stability.
Domingo, who spoke to newsmen at his country home, Igarra in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the Edo State, decried the use of power by the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government to intimidate the opposition.
The senator said that the red chamber decided to stop plans to impeach the President, who had “committed an impeachable offence,” in order to avoid national crisis.
He explained, “What are we even talking about? Who is saying that the President himself has not committed an impeachable offence?
“That is what the National Assembly ought to be looking at, but because of stability. And the leaderships of the two chambers of the National Assembly are mature in the way they are handling the issues, and we look at Nigeria as an entity that must be salvaged.
“And, of course, the whole of African nations are looking at us as the giant of Africa.
“Are we going to be a giant in rascality?
The lawmaker, who is also the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, however, expressed fear that Nigeria’s democracy would face greater danger, if the wave of impeachment was left unchecked.
Domingo said, “What is happening is very surprising to a lot of us. First and foremost, there is danger around the corner, there is danger in the political arena, because we are a political system that ought to be stable but encumber itself with impeachment threat and processes.”

He said, “To me, I see it as a clear parliamentary misbehaviour, where a governor, who was given a mandate by his people, is not allowed to exercise his rights. And if he sure does, it is only the people who can call for his recall.
“I think if you asked me, there should be a total repeal of these sections of harassment of impeachment.
“Let it go through the court process first. And if you win in the courts, you can now come to the House and seek for an impeachment. And of course, they must query the chief judge, who will just set up a panel without having to know if the cases are right that such a person should be impeached.”
He described the sitting by the nine PDP lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly as “illegal,” since they had been instructed by the courts to obey the rules of the Assembly.
“For me, from what is happening in Edo State, they know what they are doing. They know it is illegal because the courts have told them to go and obey the law of the House. They are internal laws that govern what they are doing.
“I have never heard or seen two chambers sitting on state matters.
“Some are legislating and transmitting to Abuja or the EFCC or wherever we have a body, and that is the state assembly commission,” Domingo said.

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