The Kogi State House of Assembly has impeached the Speaker of the House, Hon. Matthew Kolawole over allegations of misconduct and money laundering running into millions of naira.
The impeachment, according to the lawmakers, took effect from Monday, June 13, 2022.
The speaker’s impeachment was undersigned by 19 lawmakers including Ahmed Mohammed, the deputy speaker and Bello Abdullahi, the majority leader.
According to them, Kolawole’s alleged corrupt antecedents had led to the non-payment of members’ constitutional entitlements, gross corruption and diversion of funds meant for the Assembly since 2019.
They also said the Speaker obtained a personal loan running into hundreds of millions, using the Kogi State House of Assembly account to the detriment of other members.
The aggrieved lawmakers alleged that Kolawole diminished the integrity of fellow elected members by serially recording meetings and confidential conversations of members which he used as a tool to blackmail members before Governor Yahaya Bello.
The statement reads, “Whereas the Kogi State House of Assembly has been embroiled in an ongoing messy crisis of confidence with the leadership style and corrupt antecedents and tendencies of the former/impeached Speaker, Mr. Mattew Kolawole whose leadership of the Kogi State House of Assembly has led to non-payment of members Constitutional entitlements and gross corruption and diversion of funds meant for the Assembly since 2019.
“That the said Mr. Mattew Kolawole used the Kogi State House of Assembly account to collect a personal loan running into Hundreds of millions to the detriment of Members of the House.
“That the Said Mr. Mattew Kolawole stepped on and diminished the integrity and status of fellow elected members by serially recording meetings and confidential conversations of members with which he maliciously played for the Governor of Kogi State as a tool to blackmail members and destroy the trust and loyalty of members to the Governor overtime.
“That all the undersigned 19 members upon being perplexed and vexed at the obvious evil behaviour and machinations of Mr. Mattew Kolawole met and decided to constitutionally impeach the said Mattew Kolawole to wit signatures were collected and the said Mattew Kolawole impeached and a Speaker Pro Tempore duly elected amongst members.
“The standing orders of the Kogi State House of Assembly state that Mondays and Fridays are meant for Committee business and oversight functions and are not plenary days.
“For the business of plenary and by extension resolutions to be effected, a proclamation must be made a minimum of 48 hours before the date of sitting.
“This then goes to the fact that all the activities of the intimidated and kidnapped members under the impeached Mr. Mattew Kolawole today the 17th day of June, 2022, are null and void ab initio and cannot stand the test of legality.
“Finally, all undersigned members pledge their unalloyed loyalty to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello and the party that brought them all to power: the All Progressives Congress. APC.
“We hereby adopt the following Resolutions for their removal and Suspension as follows:
“That it be resolved:- and it is so resolved that Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole, is hereby removed/impeached as the speaker, of the Kogi State House of Assembly with effect from today Monday, the 13th day of July, 2022 in accordance with Section 92 (2) (C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and suspended from the House pending the final report from the House Committee on ethics and privileges upon investigation of the allegations bordering on gross misconduct in accordance with Order 10 Rule 65 Sub 12 of the Kogi State House of Assembly Standing rules.
“For avoidance of doubt, Section 92 (2) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended provides that: “The Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly shall vacate his/their offices if they are removed from office by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the members of the House.”
“Accordingly, this Resolution is supported by the following Honourable Members:
List Of Signatories
1. Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed -Deputy Speake
2. Hon. Bello Hassan Abdullahi – Majority Leade
3. Hon. Ndako Idris Muhammed-DML
4. Hon. Edoko Moses Ododo- DCW
5. Hon. Enema Paul
6. Hon. Ibrahim Usman
7. Hon. Prince Hilarion Collins Musa
8. Hon. Kilani Olusola Olumo
9. Hon. Umar Isah Tanimu
10. Hon. Daniya Ranyi
11. Hon. Ahande Oke Moses
12. Hon. Suleiman Attajachi Musa
13. Hon. Atabor Cosmas Ilemona
14. Hon. Ujah Alewo Anthony
15. Hon. Ahmed Dahiru
16. Hon. Aderonke Aro
17. Hon. (Alh) Musa Jimoh
18. Hon. Atule Egbunu
19. Hon. Mohammed Lawi Ahmed
The State Assembly earlier on Friday impeached the House Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Muhammed.
Muhammed was impeached while three other principal officers accused of gross misconduct and arbitrary use of office were suspended.
The three principal leaders are Bello Hassan Balogun (Majority Leader), Idris Ndako (Deputy Majority Leader), and Hon. Edoko Moses Ododo (Chief Whip).
Hon. Enema Paul, the member representing (Dekina/Okura) State Constituency, who read the urgent motion, during the emergency plenary on Friday, asserted that 17 lawmakers had signed the impeachment.