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Again, crisis rocks Kogi as 5 members remove Speaker

From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja

A festering crisis may have erupted in Kogi State again as five, out of the 20 members of the House of Assembly yesterday, purportedly impeached Speaker Momoh Jimoh Lawal .

Lawal, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was removed and replaced by Umar Imam of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The House has 25 members but, with the Appeal Court nullifying the elections of five members, the chamber now has 13 PDP members while the APC having seven members. Five of the 20 purportedly removed the speaker.

Newsmen were, however, barred from entering the Assembly complex while the impeachment process lasted.

Immediately the process ended, Imam who represents Lokoja 1 Constituency and three other members were seen rushing into a waiting Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). They evaded questions from newsmen.

However, one of the members, who emerged as the new Majority Leader, Friday Sanni Makama, who later addressed newsmen, said Lawal was removed because of his arrogance and high-handedness. Makama also said the former speaker deliberately adjourning plenary to avoid being impeached.

Asked whether or not members formed the mandatory two-thirds to effect the impeachment, he said the process of impeaching the speaker had been on for several weeks even as he showed a paper to newsmen where he alleged 15 members signed up for his removal.

But, reacting to his impeachment, Lawal said it was absolutely impossible for five members to remove him from office. He wondered how APC, being the minority party with seven members in the chamber could impeach PDP which has 13 members.

Describing the Tuesday sitting as illegal, Lawal said the House was to resume sitting on Thursday and wondered why few members decided to take the law into their hands to perpetuate illegality. Lawal maintained he remains speaker.

He later showed a paper to newsmen where 15 members allegedly appended their signature early on Tuesday morning passing a vote of confidence on him.

He was surrounded by 12 of those members as at the time he spoke with newsmen.