As a three-tier government that Nigeria is, three legislatures exist and
all have the impeachment powers that have been grossly abused: The National
Assembly, the state assembly and the local legislative council. A close study
of their activities, regarding impeachment duties, shows a consistent bias in
the ways they exercise these powers particularly at the National and state
levels. Prior to fourth republic only once did states (Kaduna and Kano)
assemblies have gut to impeach a governor and a deputy Governor—Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Bibi Faruk—since 1979 when
Nigeria began the practice of Presidential system of government. In the present
Fourth Republic not less than five Governors have been impeached, although three
of them had been reversed by judicial review. At the national level, it has
always been a mere threat against the chief executive but not so with the
leadership of the National Assembly. It is even worse at the local level. It is
curious however, to find that the victims of true impeachment powers have
always been the powerless deputies and the leaderships of the legislatures at
the various levels of government. Even in these, the process through which
these powers are exercised is often characterised by corruption of different
categories such as bribery and coercion leading to perversion of due process to
attain the nefarious goals. The study shows that often those behind the
impeachments are the chief executives and party leaders who goad the members of
the legislatures to embark on such constitutional but perverted acts.
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