WE CAN’T IMPEACH BUHARI – SPEAKER DOGARA
The Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara says with section 143 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, it would be nearly impossible for the National Assembly to successfully initiate and conclude impeachment process against any Nigerian President.
Dogara, spoke on Monday while delivering Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), third public lecture series tagged ‘Defending democracy: The Role of the Legislature.’
According to him, section 143 of the constitution has made any Nigerian President the most powerful President in the world.
The Speaker explained that section 143 of the constitution provides that after indicting the president of any illicit act, the Chief Judge of the federation who is an appointee of the president is saddled with the responsibility of setting up a 7 man committee to probe the president.
As an appointee of the president, Dogara said the Chief Judge is prone to intimidation and may rather set up committee whose members who would dance to the tune of the president.
The speaker noted that the situation is made worse by the fact that whatever decisions the 7 man committee comes up with, cannot be challenged in any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Speaker noted that this is unlike the situation in developed countries where if they want to impeach the president, the lower house indicts the president while the upper house impeaches the president without referring it to any committee.
He added that efforts to amend that section of the constitution failed in the past because of suspicion by some members of National Assembly over motives behind the intention.
“During the 7th Assembly one of my colleagues and I, sponsored a bill to amend that very section 143, but before I knew it, my colleague met me that he wants to withdraw from the bill.The day we were to vote on the Bill, the then PDP chairman came and asked us to withdraw it because he thought we wanted to use it to impeach the then President Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.