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Just in: Confusion in Benue as 8 APC lawmakers serve Ortom impeachment notice

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Rising irregularities in the early hours of today, Monday, July 30, 2018 held sway over proceedings as only eight lawmakers from the now opposition party (All Progressive Congress, APC), beat heavy Police presence to initiate impeachment proceedings with a service of notice to the governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom. This is coming barely one week after the governor dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week.

Sources say the height of the outplaying impunity include the fact that the eight lawmakers were led by impeached Speaker who presided just as it was clear that eight members cannot be regarded as a quorum for 18 member House but 10.

Whereas several constitutional lawyers who spoke to our correspondent are of the view that a quorum-less seating cannot initiate impeachment proceedings, Ortom’s spokesman, Tahav Agerzua stressed in an interview that the lawmakers took over the Assembly complex by force to sit and pass the impeachment notice while the police blocked further access.

Just as Business Hilights Abuja Bureau Chief who arrived Makurdi at about 10AM reports that a detachment of heavily armed policemen have shutdown the Benue State House of Assembly to forestall further breakdown of law and order, it was gathered that Benue youths as early as 5AM today, trooped en masse to block the Benue Assembly complex over what they claimed was plots by some politicians loyal to the All Progressives Congress, APC, led Federal government to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom who has dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, in a telephone interview, Benue youth leader loyal to Governor Ortom traced the lawlessness to plots by Abuja to frustrate governance in the state and called on the presidency to immediately sack the Inspector general of Police for breaches in the affairs of Benue State.

According to him, it is unheard of that an impeached Speaker gained access to the chamber with seven other loyal lawmakers and began impeachment proceedings without the presence of key staff of the Assembly who were shut out by Police.

He further queried the rationale and democratic intelligence at work when a set of lawmakers who cannot form quorum can serve an impeachment notice on a seating governor.

Whereas the State Governor is said to be preparing to address the state in a broadcast, there are fresh reports claiming strong clashes between security personnel with Benue youths loyal to the governor over the alleged invasion of State’s Assembly complex as well as the planned plot to impeach the Governor.

Business Hilights recalls that Governor Ortom had given reasons as to why he dumped the APC which include pressure from Benue youths and it was not clear if today’s actions stemmed from a sponsored broadcast by APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Sunday, listing critical issues bordering on leadership deficiency on the part of Ortom that made him to leave the party.

Oshiomhole described Governor Ortom as a comedian in Government House for saying that he was pressured by youths who blocked his way to Abuja for reconciliation talks.

The governor’s new party, the PDP is yet to comment on the development as pandemonium rages.

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