Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West has reacted to the impeachment notice served on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
Reports had it that eight members of the State House of Assembly had earlier served the governor an impeachment notice.
In a swift reaction, the governor, who recently decamped from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said only eight lawmakers lacked the constitutional powers to remove him from office.
However, Melaye noted that the process of impeaching a governor was rigorous.
In a series of tweets he entitled, “Impeaching a Governor for Public Enlightenment,” Melaye insisted that impeaching a governor in Nigeria was a serious matter.
He wrote, “Impeaching a sitting Governor of a State in Nigeria is a very serious matter
“A notice of any allegation in writing alleging gross misconduct on the part of the Governor. This notice which must be signed by not less than one-third of the members of the State House of Assembly is presented to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
“Gross misconduct is defined by the Constitution as ‘…a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct.’
“The Speaker of the State House of Assembly must within 7 days, serve the Governor of the State and each member of the State House of Assembly with a copy of the notice of allegation.
“The Governor has a right of reply (he/she does not have to reply (however), and any such statement in reply to the allegation must be served on each member of the State House of Assembly.
“Within 14 days of the presentation of the notice to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, the State House of Assembly shall resolve by motion without any debate whether or not the allegation shall be investigated. This motion needs to be passed by at least two-thirds majority of all members of the State House of Assembly.
“If the motion fails to reach the required majority, the process immediately stops, and no further action will be taken. However, if the required majority is obtained and the motion is passed, then the Speaker of the State House of Assembly will within 7 days of passing of the motion, request the Chief Judge of the State to appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity to investigate the allegations. The members of the Panel cannot be members of any public service, legislative house or political party.
“The Panel is to report its findings within three months of being appointed. The findings will be reported to the State House of Assembly. During the proceedings of the Panel, the Governor shall have a right to defend himself, and shall also have the right to defend himself, and shall also have the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his/her choice.”