Ugly past returns in Plateau Assembly, just 8 of 24 members oust speaker Ayuba

Abok Nuhu Ayuba ex-Plateau Speaker

Abok Ayuba factional Speaker of Plateau Assembly: whisked away by the police from Assembly complex.

By Peter Amine/Jos

The Speaker Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Abok Nuhu Ayuba, was impeached by eight out of the 24 members of the legislature.

The removal was carried out at dawn, outside of official hours, with armed policemen providing security cover.

It brought back memories of such undemocratic practices in the Obasanjo and Jonathan years, when minorities imposed their will on the majority.

Some governors were impeached by minority members.

In the Governors’ Forum, Jonah Jang held claim in 2013 to its chairmanship though he had 16 governors supporting to 20 in Rotimi Amaechi’s camp.

The unusual sitting on Thursday morning in Jos, was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Saleh Yipmong.

The minority eight legislators elected Yakubu Sanda (APC-Pengana) as the new speaker.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the eight members gained access to the House as early as 6 a.m to execute their plan, literally at gun point.

They operated under the heavy presence of armed security personnel.

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The lawmakers attempted to impeach the speaker on Wednesday night, but could not succeed and returned on Thursday morning.

Mr Nanbol Daniel (PDP-Langtang North Central) had said that the impeachment would not hold because it did not follow the House Rules on impeachment of speaker and deputy speaker.

Before the impeachment, a petition against Ayuba went viral on social media in the early hours of Wednesday, accusing him of corruption.

The petition was written by a group under the aegis of Youths Rights Against Corruption (YRAC) accusing the speaker of corruption.

The group said it has submitted the petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

It accuses him of several allegations, including abuse of office and financial misappropriation.

The group also demanded that the speaker should immediately step down from his position pending the completion of investigation.

The Executive Director, YRAC, Mr Abednego Musa, signed the petition titled “Petition Against Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker, Nuhu Abok Ayuba, On Gross Financial Misconduct, Criminal Breach Of Public Trust And Abuse Of Office”.

The speaker and the Assembly are yet to react to the development.

Meanwhile, the group of eight lawmakers said they would present the newly elected speaker (Yakubu Sanda) to Gov. Simon Lalong this morning at the Government House in Jos.