Why Kogi Assembly Can’t Impeach Ododo over Yahaya Bello’s Escape – Speaker

Kogi Assembly

Umar Yusuf, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, has said there are no grounds to begin impeachment proceedings against Governor Usman Ododo over the allegations of obstruction of justice in the Yahaya Bello run-in with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Yabagi, the Speaker argued that the Assembly is not in possession of any evidence that Ododo prevented security agencies from arresting his predecessor.

This comes after a human rights advocate, Deji Ajare, petitioned Yusuf to begin the impeachment process against the Governor over allegations of misconduct and abuse of office.

In the letter addressed to the Speaker, through the clerk of the House on Friday, April 19, 2024, Ajare claimed Ododo using his motorcade to whisk Bello away amounted to the harbouring of a fugitive, obstruction of justice, and the misuse of state resources.

On Wednesday, the incumbent truncated the EFCC attempt to arrest the embattled former Governor when he whisked the latter away from his Abuja residence at about 4:20 pm.

Officials of the anti-graft commission had laid siege to Bello’s residence to arrest him for arraignment in connection to an N80.2 billion money laundering case.

EFCC, Immigration, Police attempt to smoke out Bello

Following his escape, the EFCC declared Bello wanted while the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) also placed him under surveillance.

At the same time, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, directed an immediate withdrawal of all police units attached to the former governor.

The IGP has also ordered the arrest and detention of Bello’s Aide-De-Camp (ADC) and police detail for allegedly aiding and abetting his escape.

Meanwhile, reacting to demand for Ododo’s impeachment, Yabagi said neither the Clerk nor the Speaker had received any letter from Ajare.

He also stressed that the Kogi Assembly had yet to see any evidence proving Ododo committed any of the allegations being levelled against him.

“Anybody in the public has their perception of the matter. But the House has not seen any reason, none of the members of the House were there, and none of them saw the Governor trying to prevent the security agencies from doing their job.

“As far as the Assembly is concerned, the Assembly supports all constitutionally recognised security agencies. We have not seen any reason why the House should commence any impeachment processes.

“For context, as far as the executive is concerned, the immediate past Governor was not even at his Abuja residence, and there’s no concrete evidence that the executive Governor prevented them from doing their constitutionally recognised job. The House is yet to receive such a letter, and the Speaker is yet to have any knowledge of such a letter,” Yabagi told The Punch.

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