Reps Want Absolute Power To Impeach President

The House of Representatives has passed for second reading a Bill that seeks to grant it absolute powers to solely initiate and execute impeachment proceedings against any sitting president.

The bill, which is sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Hon. Emmanuel Jime and his Chairman House Services, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, specifically is seeking to amend section 143 of the 1999 Constitution.

The lawmakers had argued that the section as contained in the 1999 Constitution, is fraught defects and ambiguities, but were quick to note that the move was targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan.

Hon. Dogara, after quoting several foreign authorities to drive home his point, argued that one of the defects in the section was the only basis to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president as enshrined in the Constitution was for “gross misconduct” which he said was not clearly defined.

On his part, Hon. Jime, insisted that the amendment was meant to address constitutional challenges that the lawmakers were finding difficult to confront.

He also questioned the provision, which gave sole right to raise a panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the president or the vice president to the Chief Justice of the country

“How can the Chief Justice, who himself is an appointee of the president be the one to set up a panel to investigate the allegations?” he queried.

Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides and lays the procedure of Impeaching a sitting President and, or a Vice President.

The bill was then put to vote, and passed for second reading, despite attempt by Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola and few others to oppose it.