Daily Law Tips (Tip 441) ) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

HOW TO REMOVE GOVERNOR OR DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF STATE IN NIGERIA.

Governor and Deputy-Governor of state are elected executives. Any of them can be removed from office for Gross misconduct. Gross Misconduct is grave violation or breach of the constitution of Nigeria or any misconduct that in the opinion of the members of the House of Assembly is gross misconduct.

Steps for removal of a serving Governor or Deputy-Governor of a state are clearly stipulated in the constitution of Nigeria. The steps are;

1. There must be a written notice of allegation signed by not less than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly to be presented to the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the state. The said written allegation must show detailed specific particulars of the allegation that the holder of the office is guilty of gross misconduct in performance of the functions of his office.
2. Within 7 days of receipt of the written notice of allegation by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Speaker must ensure that a copy of such notice is served on the concerned holder of the office as well as on each member of the House of Assembly.
3. Within 14 days from date of presentation of notice of allegation to the Speaker, the concerned holder of office may make a statement in reply to the notice of allegation served on him, such reply must be served on each member of the House of Assembly.
4. Within 14 days from date of presentation of notice of allegation to the Speaker, whether or not the concerned holder of office has sent a statement in reply, the House of Assembly must by a motion resolve without any debate whether to investigate the allegations against the concerned holder of office.
5. Motion for allegation to be investigated cannot be passed except with at least two-third majority of all the members of the House of Assembly.
6. Within 7 days of passing of a motion for investigation, the Chief Judge of the State must at the required the Speaker, appoint a Panel of 7 persons to investigate the allegation. The said 7 persons must in the opinion of the Chief Judge be persons that are of unquestionably integrity and must not be members of the public service, legislative house or political party.
7. The concerned holder of office has rights to defend himself personally or through any legal practitioner of his choice before the Panel.
8. Within three months from the date of appointment of the Panel, the Panel must report its findings to the House of Assembly. Powers and procedures of the Panel must be as prescribed by the House of Assembly.
9. No further proceedings will be commenced where the Panel reports that the allegation has not been proved.
10. Where the Panel reports that the allegation was proved, then within 14 days from the date receipt of the Panel report, the House of Assembly must consider the report.
11. Where by resolution of the House of Assembly, supported by two-third majority of all members of House of Assembly, the report of the Panel is adopted, then automatically the concerned holder of office is removed.
12. No part, proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly, Panel or issues related to this can be challenged in any court in Nigeria.

My authorities are sections 188, 138 and 319 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

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