REMOVAL OF ELECTED OFFICERS

UNCONSTITUTIONAL REMOVAL OF ELECTED OFFICERS

 

 

The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as earlier discussed recognizes the following: ELECTED OFFICERS

  1. Only the National Assembly or the House of Assembly of a State has the constitutional power to remove a President/Vice-President or Governor/Deputy Governor from office[1]
  2. There is a vertical separation of powers between the Central and State Governments which implies that the President is independent of a State Governor and vice-versa. ELECTED OFFICERS
ELECTED OFFICERS
ELECTED OFFICERS

The Constitution provides that the above-named Officers may only be removed from office where they have been found guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of their office. Since 1999 however, accusing fingers have been pointed at the executive at the Federal level of being responsible for the removal of some governors which negates the principle of ‘vertical’ separation of powers. This is relatable to the biblical Voice of Jacob and Hand of Esau since the President propels the members of the State House of Assembly to remove their Governor while such members under the guise of ‘gross misconduct’ do the removing. The eventual result is that the legislators rush to remove their governors thereby tainting the removal process with constitutional irregularities. ELECTED OFFICERS

 

DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS

 

This was the case in Anambra State where President Obasanjo was accused of being responsible for the removal of Governor Peter Obi who was elected on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). In his usual jocular manner, it was said that the former President had told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (Obasanjo) would not support a non-PDP member. True to Obasanjo’s postulations, Mr. Obi, was removed on November 2, 2006, after seven (7) months in office in a controversial manner. Similarly, Obasanjo was alleged to be responsible for the removal of Governor Fayose in his first term after he (Fayose) who was a former ally of Obasanjo fell out with the latter[2]. It was also the practice during Obasanjo’s tenure to use Federal Might to hound members of any State House of Assembly where he wanted the Governor removed if they tried to assert their independence. This the executive did by deploying the police and the EFCC to go after such members until they did the bidding of the executive. ELECTED OFFICERS

READ ALSO  HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF PATENT LAW IN NIGERIA

The Federal Government used the EFCC and the House of Assembly of Bayelsa State to remove the Governor of Bayelsa State for alleged money laundering. The Speaker of the House who had earlier indicated that the House was not interested in removing the Governor was later intimidated and hounded by the EFCC into removing the Governor[3]. ELECTED OFFICERS

 

 

 

 

[1] Sections 143 and 188 CFRN, 1999

[2] Uchenna Awom Impeachment as Weapon against Opposition, leadership.ng/news/politics/378378/impeachment-weapon-opposition. Accessed on 23rd April 2016

[3] House Drags EFCC to Court, Source Magazine, 19th June 2006, P. 6

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply