Plateau Assembly speaker escapes impeachment

Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker Peter Azi has escaped impeachment by fellow lawmakers for attempting to prolong the tenure of transition committee chairmen in the 17 local government councils of the state slated to expire on Thursday, June 28. This is following the truncated election of chairmen and councillors by the state Governor Simon Lalong barely a month after he took over power in 2015. Since then, the state government had been appointing caretaker committees periodically to oversee the affairs of the local governments. Disagreement reportedly started on the floor of the House on Thursday when Azi wanted the lawmakers to go on recess without discussing the tenure of the transition committees whose tenure expired same day. But a lawmaker representing Mikang constituency, Na’anlong Daniel moved a motion of urgency on the tenure of the transition of chairmen that had just expired. This was supported by Simon Kudu of Irigwe/Rukuba constituency. The debate was reportedly uncomfortable for some members who were not in support of the development, as they commenced impeachment process of collecting signatures against the speaker before the lawmakers resolved to settle the matter. After much deliberation, 18 out of the 24 members of the House voted to end the tenure of the transition committee chairmen in the state. The House will further debate on having elected executives for the local governments. The failed impeachment process has resulted in the dismissal of chairmen and councillors at the 17 local government councils. However, reports suggest that the action of the majority of the lawmakers is not connected with principal officers of the House to extend committee chairmen’s tenure in compliance to wish of the state government.

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