JUST IN: Tension In Benue As 8 APC Lawmakers Serve Governor Ortom Impeachment Notice
Political tension continued to heighten in Benue State on Monday as eight lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) served an impeachment notice on Governor Samuel Ortom.
The anti-Ortom lawmakers are Adanyi Benjamin, Terhemba Chabo, Benjamin Nungwa, Bem Mngutyo, Adams Okloho, James Okefe and Nick Eworo.
The plot is reportedly being coordinated by Terkimbi Ikyange who was removed as Speaker of the assembly last week.
Recall that Ikyange was removed by 22 of 30 members of the House on July 24 during an emergency sitting.
The Assembly had adjournment on July 10 to resume on August 15.
The lawmakers consequently elected the former Chief Whip of the House, Titus Ubah, representing Vandeikya Kyan constituency, as the new Speaker.
Ikyange, has, however, maintained that he remained the Speaker since the right procedure was not followed in the impeachment process.
He said since the House was under adjournment, there were only two principal officers who could reconvene it, namely, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
He said none of the two officers reconvened the assembly.
He accused Ortom of being the brain behind his impeachment to pave the way for his defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom has since defected to the PDP.
On the other hand, lawmakers loyal to the new Speaker quoted the Standing Rules of the House to justify their action.
They claimed that in the absence of the two presiding officers, they could elect a pro-tempo Speaker to preside.
Both groups have been prevented from gaining entry into the main lobby of the Assembly complex to hold their meetings.
However, on Monday, Ikyange and the seven other members loyal to him were reported to have taken over the premises of the Assembly.
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A spokesman for Governor Ortom, Tahav Agerzua, alleged that the invasion of the complex had the backing of the police.
“They have taken over the House of Assembly and served the governor an impeachment notice despite a court order forbidding them from doing so,” Agerzua told reporters.
The governor’s aide also alleged that former governor of the state, George Akume, was the one who brought police officers from Abuja to attempt to use eight lawmakers to impeach a governor in a House of 30 lawmakers.