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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Why APC Senators can’t impeach Saraki – Ozekhome

Why APC Senators can’t impeach Saraki – Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome, human right activist and constitutional lawyer, has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against its move to impeach the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), warned the APC and the presidency against listening to some perverse legal opinion from different quarters that 24 Senators could lawfully impeach Saraki.

In a three-page statement he issued yesterday, the senior lawyer noted that the “1999 Constitution requires at least 73 senators” to impeach Saraki.

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Citing sections 143 and 188 of the 1999 Constitution, Ozekhome noted that the sections deal with the impeachment of the president, Vice President, governor and deputy governor respectively.

According to the lawyer, the sections “are different from section 50(2), which deals with the impeachment of the president or deputy president of the Senate, or the Speaker or deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

Ozekhome said section 50(2)(c) “does not use the word all in its provision. If it wanted to import all as done in sections 143 and 188, it would have said so clearly. But it did not.

“It simply says if he is removed from office by a resolution of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the Chamber.”

He explained that the Senate “comprises 109 senators. The House of Representatives comprises 360 members. Surely, section 50(2)(c) does not talk about quorum of any of the chambers as stated in section 54(1), which simply deals with the quorum of members before sitting.”

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