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IMPEACHMENT: Zamfara Dep Gov shuns probe panel, calls lawmakers illiterates



The deputy governor of Zamfara state, Barr. Mahdi Aliyu-Gusau, on Monday, refused to appear before a seven-man panel set to probe allegations of misconduct and abuse of office, levelled against him by the state House of Assembly.

The House of Assembly is hell-bent on impeaching the deputy governor, a move suspected to be orchestrated by Governor Bello Matawalle.

The Chief Judge in the state, Justice Kulu Aliyu had constituted the committee on February 14.

Members of the panel are Justice Halidu Tanko Sabo (rtd), who is the Chairman, Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), Abdul Atadoga Ibrahim (SAN), Hussaini Zakariya’u (SAN). Others are Amina Tanimu Marafa, Sani Mande, and Ahmad Buhari Rabah, while Barrister Ashiru Tsafe serves as the secretary.

At its first sitting on Monday, the secretary to the panel, Barrister Ashiru Tsafe, confirmed to the committee that he served Gusau notices on his expected appearance before the committee via electronic, email address, Whatsapp and also submitted scan copies of the delivery report.

Counsel to the complainant, Barr. Nasiru Jangebe, presented seven witnesses for cross-examination before the panel.

One of the witnesses, a retired permanent secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mainsara Bakura, testified that Gusau was never available for official duties, and that the deputy governor only issued oral directives to him through phone calls.

Bakura, who stated that he was in office as the permanent secretary from November 2020 to November 2021, said he was not comfortable with the oral directives, but had no choice than to comply with them.

“I only communicate to the deputy governor through telephone and even on telephone it was very rear. But if he wants to talk to me, he calls at his will or ask his ADC to call me,” Bakura added.

“Sometime I tried reaching out to him even on the phone but the deputy governor is not accessible, I only saw him on television attending party activities somewhere out of Zamfara,” he said.

Less than 24 hours before the sitting, the deputy governor, at a press conference in Abuja, had described the panel as illegal, “because there is a court order restraining the lawmakers from their impeachment plans.”

Aliyu-Gusau argued that members of the state house of assembly would be acting as illiterates if they continue with the impeachment move.

I am here today to comment on the impeachment move against me. I have heard that the CJ (Chief Judge) has inaugurated a panel to investigate me. How could they go ahead with such a move? How could the CJ inaugurate the panel when the issue is before a court of law?” Mr Ali, who spoke in Hausa language, said.

Read also: Zamfara govt distances Matawalle from impeachment plot against deputy

He continued, “But this shows that they are nothing but illiterates to me. If they continue the move, then they are illiterates. They should know there is a limit to what they can do.

Ripples Nigeria had reported that the deputy governor is being accused of abuse of office, criminal self-enrichment using public funds and failure to discharge official duties.

By Oluwatobi Odeyinka…

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