Zamfara state speaker, others, arrested for plotting to impeach governor

The Speaker of the Zamfara state House of Assembly, Sanusi Rikiji, was on Tuesday arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) for allegedly planning to impeach the state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, the Punch reports.

According to the report, Rikiji was arrested in Gusau, the state capital, alongside other principal officers of the House. They are currently under detention in Abuja.

Others arrested include: the Deputy Speaker, Muhammad Gumi; the Majority Leader, Isah Abdulmumini; and the Chief Whip, Abdullahi Dansadau.

The Zamfara state House of Assembly, in a move to impeach the governor, had on Wednesday listed impeachable offences against Yari.

A statement by the House’s spokesperson, Mannir Gidan-Jaja, accused Yari of mismanaging billions of the state money, including the N11 billion bailout fund from the Federal Government, N1 billion agricultural loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria and misuse of local government funds.

They also accused the governor of appointing  Murtala Jangebe as the Chairman of the state Universal Basic Education Board despite the resolution of the Assembly not to. Furthermore, the governor failed to remit funds deducted from pension and gratuities.

The lawmakers called on the Presidency to warn the DSS against interfering in the state matter as it was a disturbance of their legislative function.

The Assembly said, “We are also demanding the unconditional release of our principal officers, who are currently under detention with the DSS in Abuja.”

The governor has detained all the allegations brought against him and his involvement in the arrest of the Speaker and others.

A statement from the Governor’s office reads: “Suffice it to say that most, if not all the claims in the legislators grievances, are baseless, unfounded and self-seeking, with the aim of inciting the general public against the governor for reasons best known to them.”

The statement added that the governor had no hand in the arrest of the lawmakers, saying that the governor “is neither the DG, SSS nor the IG of Police.”

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