Members of the Benue House of Assembly, who impeached their Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, on Tuesday, have claimed that they showed him the red card because he was “highhanded”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Ikyange was impeached by 21 members. The House has 30 members.
NAN also reports that Mr Titus Uba (APC/Kyan) was elected Speaker.
Other principal officers impeached along with the Speaker were the Deputy Speaker, James Okefe (APC, Okpokwu) Majority Leader, Benjamin Adanyi (APC,Makurdi South) and Deputy Majority Leader, Nick Eworo (APC/Oju).
NAN also reports that the “emergency session” was presided over by the Speaker Pro-Tempo, Mr Audu Sule (PDP/Agatu), because the House had gone on recess and was expected to resume Aug. 15.
A correspondent, who covered the session, reports that the motion for the impeachment was moved by Richard Ujege (APC/Konshisha), and promptly seconded by Anthony Ogbu (Ado/APC)
Mr Ujege cited highhandedness as the major reason for the call for Ikyange’s sack.
Reacting to the development, Mr Ikyange said that it was “an act of illegality”, declaring that he was still the Speaker of the House.
“The proper procedure for impeachment was not followed. As Speaker, I am the only one qualified to reconvene the seating of the House.
“In my absence, only the Deputy Speaker can reconvene the Assembly as directed by me. None of us was aware of this session because we are currently on recess.
“To the best of my knowledge, the House stands adjourned till Aug 15. When the House is on recess, we can only reconvene if there are matters of urgent importance.
“Since this procedure was not followed, I consider this an act of illegality. This is not about me but about the sanctity of the Assembly. It is an institution whose rules must not bastardized,” he said.
He warned those parading themselves as leaders of the House to desist from doing so in their own interests.
“As far as I am concerned, all the principal officers are intact. Nobody is impeached,” he assured
NAN reports that the House of Assembly adjourned on July 10 and was expected resume on Aug. 15.
Reacting to the development, the chairman of the APC in Benue, Abba Yaro, said that he was not aware of any change in the leadership of the Assembly.
“I am still trying to get details of the said impeachment; I will get across to you as soon as the picture is clear. Right now, I can’t believe it is true,” Mr Yaro said.