The Conference of Speakers of State legislatures, yesterday, condemned in strong terms the nationwide impeachment moves against speakers of various State Houses of Assembly, allegedly sponsored by state governors.
Chairman of the conference, Sam Ikon, who doubles as speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, in a statement in Abuja, observed with dismay the unhealthy trend of flagrant disrespect for constitutionally laid down procedure to remove a speaker and principal officers of state assemblies in the country.
The statement read in part: “The conference is not unaware of impeachment as guaranteed by the constitution to guard against abuse of power and tyrannical tendencies. The conference, however, condemns in a strong term, a complete deviation from the constitutional procedure to remove a speaker or any principal officer as have been embarked upon by some state assemblies.”
The legislators stated that they were deeply concerned by “this spate of disrespect for rule of law that has almost become a norm in the polity. We are afraid no meaningful development will be achieved if this ugly trend is not checked as it portends a serious threat to our democracy.”
“Most recently, some states, such as Adamawa and Enugu state Houses of Assembly have been in the news, where purported impeachments of their speakers were reportedly carried out in ways and manners that were contrary to the constitutional provisions. We regard such purported impeachments as a nullity as their procedures were short of due process. The ugly developments have already resulted in factions in those state assemblies and will consequently have adverse effects on the governance in such states,” the group added.