14 reasons why Jonathan must go now, by senators

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David Mark

Lawmakers to give Mark impeachment request

Senators have levelled 14 impeachable allegations against President Goodluck Jonathan.

The lawmakers are expected to harmonise their allegations with members of the House of Representatives before sending an impeachment request to Senate President David Mark.

The pro-impeachment Senators and Representatives may meet before the end of the week to agree on when to present the request to Mark, in line with Section 143 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Top on the list of the allegations is the President’s refusal to sign 120 bills into law.

The Nation stumbled on  a copy of the allegations and signatures.

The President is expected to explain why he could not curtail the Boko Haram insurgency; and non-release of the abducted 219 Chibok girls.

Other issues are undule politicising of the security situation; failure to act as de facto President; $10.8billion missing from the Federation Account; squandering of N10billion private jets; and sloppiness/ failure in governance.

Some of the allegations also include alleged violation of the constitution/ Oath of Office; failure to implement recommendations of panels/ committees; setting up of ill-conceived, “nebulous” groups like TAN for re-election campaign outside the Electoral Act; failure to establish and inaugurate the Nigeria Police Council; illegal deployment of Armed Forces and sowing seed of hatred and turning one part of the country against the other.”

Though the list of signatories was obtained by our correspondent, the senators pleaded against its publication until what they described as “auspicious time”.

Although 63 senators were reported to have backed the impeachment move, the document shows that 16 signed.

A principal officer in the Senate, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, said: “We are embarking on signatures drive as I am talking to you. Senators are vetting the allegations before appending signatures.

“We have secured the consent of more than 63 senators who are expected to sign up in the next few days. And the senators are from both the PDP and the APC.”

The “weighty” allegations have forced some PDP senators to regroup against pro-impeachment ones.

The allegations read in part: “The President as the Head of government has worked to undermine the effective performance of other arms of government, especially the legislature, by constantly frustrating peaceful and harmonious co-existence among other arms of government. In performing their constitutional responsibility of lawmaking, the legislature passes bills to be assented to by the President before they become laws of the federation.

“The President has consistently and consciously failed to sign bills and motions passed on to him by the parliament, thereby making the position of the legislative arm of government untenable. At the last count, the President has refused to assent to about 120 bills passed by the current National Assembly. He has not sent any communication as to their rejection as stipulated in Section 58 (1) (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Motions and other legislative instruments have suffered similar, if not worse, fate.

The senators have also decided to hold the President liable for allegedly not doing enough to address the Boko Haram insurgency and communal conflicts.

The Notice of Impeachment states: “The President, as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and Chief Security Officer of the nation, has failed to ensure the protection of lives and properties. Mindless carnage by the Boko Haram insurgents, especially in the Northeast, recurrent violence in states like Taraba, Adamawa, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa etc are manifest examples of how the President has failed to exert the enormous powers inherent in his office.

“This total failure of leadership has not only served to threaten the corporate existence of the country, it has taken an untoward toll on the development and progress of the nation.

“The President has in an unprecedented manner reduced the Office of the President to an object of ridicule both locally and in the eyes of the international community, thereby reducing both the country and our hitherto respected Armed Forces into laughing stock.

“As we speak, over 200 of our female children have been abducted for over five months while some parts of our territorial space had been overtaken by the unrelenting insurgents. Yet, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces has displayed acute sense of cluelessness on how to tackle the security challenges.

“The general impression out there is that the President is thoroughly overwhelmed and, therefore, incapable of inspiring our gallant men and women of the Armed Forces who are daily killed and maimed owing largely to the incompetence of their Commander-In-Chief.

“Just recently, a large number of our troops ran to safety in neighbouring Cameroon in the face of massive onslaught from the insurgents. The fact that our renowned military had to find succour with our little brother next door is the greatest indictment yet on the capability of the Commander-In-Chief to rally his men and boost their morale.

“For unduly politicising the security situation, the President has shown beyond all measure of doubt that he has neither the courage nor the sense of judgement to tackle the issue headlong. Evidence abounds to show that the President and his handlers by living in denial as to the abduction of Chibok girls, gave the insurgents more than three weeks head start

They accused Jonathan of abdicating his responsibility through the concession of waterways security and protection of oil installations to a private firm.

“The President, in his capacity as Head of State has woefully abdicated state responsibilities and severely undermined the capacity of our security agencies by passing a “vote of no confidence” on the Nigeria Police and Armed Forces to protect our strategic and vital infrastructures, like the pipelines.

“A case of this failure was the award of non-appropriated Oil Facility Protection Contract worth N3.6b to a private firm (Oil Facilities Surveillance Limited) controlled by ex militants,” the document claimed.

The senators also alleged that the President had failed to address corruption.

The senators added: “The President as the Head of State is under obligation to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power as envisaged by Section 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Since his assumption of office, corruption in Nigeria has assumed frightening proportion. For the first time in our history, corruption is almost elevated to a state craft where known corrupt Nigerians are either friends or employees of the government headed by the President.

“ From Stella Oduah (Minister of Aviation) to AbdulRasheed Maina of the pension scam, to how the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has refused to account for $10.8billion missing from the Federation Account or how she allegedly squandered N10billion to fly private jets in two years or even how the NNPC under her watch managed to pay subsidy monies to kerosene marketers for three years without appropriation, thereby contravening Section 80 (1)-(4) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), it has been a season of unbridled corruption.

“All of the names mentioned above are close friends and supporters of the government and have been seen hobnobbing with the President in public even when facing charges of abuse of office and corruption.”

They also accused Jonathan of allegedly sowing the seed of hatred and turning one part of the country against the other.

The document said: “As the de facto President, instead of working to unite the country by advocating true nationalism and patriotism, the President has sought to take advantage of our religious and ethnic differences through divisive and sectarian policies and politics. By continually, through his innuendos and body language, suggesting that a particular section or group of people of a particular faith or ethnicity is an enemy of the country, the President has consciously sowed the seed of hatred and turned one part of the country against the other.

“For threatening the fragile peace and unity of the nation by his unprecedented clannishness and cronyism, the President has acted in ways unbecoming of a President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Failing to foster a sense of belonging and involvement among the various people of the federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties, the President has violated Sections 15 (2), (3) (a) and (b) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“For failing to establish and inaugurate the Nigeria Police Council as envisaged by the Constitution, the President swore on oath to uphold and defend, he has breached/violated the extant provisions of Section 153 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Section 217 (2) (c) of the Constitution said, ‘the Federation shall, subject to an Act of the National Assembly made in that behalf, equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of – suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Therefore the powers vested on the President by virtue of the combined effects  of Sections 217 (2) (c) and 218 (1) to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces of the Federation, are not absolute and in fact subject to the supervising authority of the National Assembly as expressly stipulated by the Constitution. Section 218 (4) clearly states that, ‘the National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the regulations of – (a) the powers exercisable by the President as Commander –in-Chief of  the Armed Forces of the Federation; and (b) the appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of members of the armed forces of the Federation.’

A senator, who is a die-hard loyalist of the President, said: “There is nothing like the impeachment process against President Goodluck Jonathan. Some senators are just playing to the gallery.

“Even if they attempt to serve a notice of impeachment, they cannot get the required one-third of members of the National Assembly to push it through. Those of us in PDP will never allow the tyranny of the minority to take place in the National Assembly.”—-The Nation

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