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Why Dogara’s removal may not be easy – Lawmakers

All was peaceful on the first day of resumption in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The lawmakers were returning from a long recess that spanned over two months.

Contrary to expectations, there was absolute peace and quietude as Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara came into the chamber at 11:38am.

There was no murmuring, grumbling or any act of discontent. This may be due to the honour accorded, late Hon. Funke Adedoyin who died on September 28th.

Proceedings of the House was adjourned till Wednesday in honour of the lawmaker who represented Irepodun/Oke-ero/Isin/Ekiti federal constituency of Kwara state in the House.

However, lawmakers Tuesday expressed doubt on the ability of the touted impeachment plan against Dogara to succeed.

According to Mohammed Tahir Mungonu (APC- Borno) the plot cannot see the light of day as it would be difficult as the APC caucus may not be able to garner 240 members as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Presently, APC is estimated to have 190 members while PDP has 157, APGA 5 members, ADC 4 members, SDP 1 and Accord Party has 1. However, 2 vacant seats exit due to the death of two members.

Monguno said: “The parliamentary conventions and norms is that the majority party produces the leadership of the party except Nigeria will be an exception.

“My only advice is for the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to honorably resign their positions
since they are now members of the minority party.”

This, he said is in consonance with best democratic norms and values that is obtainable all over the world.

“Based on moral situation but with regards to the constitution, we need two-third to remove them and if the APC can muster that two third majority, I wish APC members good luck,” he said.
The lawmaker added that for the opposition to occupy positions of principal officers of both chambers will directly affect not only the legislative business but also the policy direction of the APC  government.

“It is going to definitely disrupt legislative business because they are not members of the ruling party so the manifesto as well as the programme of the party they belong to is directly in conflict with the programme and objective of the ruling and majority party of the National Assembly therefore there is going to be conflict of interest in the way and manner they are going to pursue the agenda of the ruling party.”

Such a situation he said might lead to sabotage.

He however said: “If we are sure that we are going to muster the two-third majority, we are going to count ourselves, definitely we are going to move ahead and then remove the speaker that is if we can muster the two-third majority in consonance with the provision of the constitution that requires two-third majority to remove the speaker. Why not, we will move. But if we cannot get the two-third majority, there is no need to embark on an exercise in futility.”

Another member, Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo) was confident the APC cannot come up with the necessary figure to impeach Dogara.
He said: “If APC members in the House follow the constitution, they don’t have the figure and that presently, no party has the figure to produce any speaker.

“We were elected by Nigerians to come and represent them. If we want to follow the business of representing our people that will
be the last thing on the mind of anybody right now.

“So he remains the speaker till the expiration of the 8th National Assembly.”

According to the lawmaker, many members  in both parties were denied return tickets so it would be difficult for PDP to align with APC to impeach Dogara.

Monetary inducement to impeach Dogara would also not work, he said.
But a member who spoke under condition of anonymity warned that there may be dire consequences if the APC goes ahead with the impeachment plan.

According to him, some of the APC lawmakers who are principal officers may lose their seats over the plot.

“A list of such lawmakers is being compiled to be forwarded to the Ethics and Privileges Committee if need be,” he said.

Also listed on this week’s Notice Paper, for the House are: a bill for an Act to amend the National Tobacco Control Act, 2015, to address the lacuna that may be easily exploited by tobacco industry in Nigeria and to cure certain defects in the Act, ensure its effective implementation in Nigeria.

An Act to establish the national security trust fund which seeks to provide for the maintenance of a Trust Fund that will cater for the procurement of military security infrastructure and technology for security agencies in Nigeria.

A bill for an ‘Act to provide for the management, administration, operation, regulation and supervision of payment, clearing and settlement systems in Nigeria’

Others are: A bill for an Act to repeal the Advertising Practitioner’s (Registrations, etc) Act and enact the Advertising Practitioner’s
(Registrations, Licensing, etc), and a bill and establish council for Advertising Practitioners as the apex regulatory authority for the Nigerian Advertising profession and practice .


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