Impeachment is a constitutional provision to remove a President, Vice President, Governors, and Deputy Governors from office respectively, for gross misconduct.However, these Constitutional provisions have been misused several times by the Governors against their Deputies whom they perceived are not being loyal to them any longer.From 1999 to date, 13 Deputy Governors have been impeached across 11 States of the Federation, while 4 resigned their position to avoid the embarrassment of Impeachment.
1. Chief Iyiola Omisore: Osun StateChief Iyiola Omisore was the deputy governor of Osun state until his impeachment in 2003. The state House of Assembly alleged that he was guilty of breach of Oath of office and conflict of interest with the state government.The State Assembly also found him guilty for suing the state government over a contract of $1.5 million and divulging the official secret. Omisore served as a deputy to Chief Bisi Akande who denied his involvement in the impeachment.
2. Dr. Chris Ekpenyong: Akwa Ibom StateDr. Chris Ekpenyong was the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom state until June 2005 when he was impeached by the state House of Assembly. Ekpenyong and his boss, Gov. Victor Attah were not in good terms and this degenerated to impeachment.The deputy governor was accused of awarding the contract to his personal company and managing the affairs of another private company, while he was still a deputy governor, he was also accused of not attending the democracy day ceremony.
3. Chief Abiodun Aluko: Ekiti State
Chief Abiodun Aluko was the Ekiti state deputy governor from 2003 May till 2005 September, when he was impeached by the state House of Assembly for being guilty of 16 count charges leveled against him. The relationship between the deputy governor and his boss Peter Ayodele Fayose went sour, and the outcome was the impeachment of the deputy governor. He was replaced with Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi.
4. Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi: Ekiti StateAfter the impeachment of Chief Abiodun Aluko in September 2005, Mrs. Abiodun Olujimi was sworn in as the new deputy governor of Ekiti State.In 2006, the state governor who was having issues with President Olusegun Obasanjo was accused of misappropriation of funds meant for poultry in the state, the State Assembly acting under pressure impeached the state governor and the deputy governor on the 16th October 2006.
5. Otunba Femi Pedro: Lagos State Otunba Femi Pedro was elected alongside his boss, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 1999. He was impeached in May 2007 after discovering his boss was in support of another candidate, Babatunde Fashola as his successor in the state.Pedro who was also eying the governor seat decamped to Labour party to contest the 2007 election, he was eventually impeached by the state House of Assembly even though he tendered his resignation letter to the governor and the House of Assembly, his resignation letter was rejected by both.
6. Alhaji Garba Gadi: Bauchi StateAlhaji Garba Gadi was the deputy governor to Gov. Issa Yuguda of Bauchi State until they had a broken relationship in 2009 which led to the impeachment of the deputy governor.The deputy governor decamped to ANPP from the PDP that brought them to power, just like the present case of Ondo state, immediately after his decamp, the state House of Assembly began the process of his impeachment.The state High Court reinstated him a year after his impeachment and ordered the payment of all his entitlements, due to the irregularities in the process of his impeachment.
7. Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi: Bayelsa StatePeremobowei Ebebi was the deputy governor to Gov. Timipreye Silver of Bayelsa state between May 2007 and June 2010. He was accused of abuse of power and misconduct by the state House of the Assembly who were acting under the influence of the state governor.He was said to be found guilty of 9 offenses out of 10 leveled against him, Mr. Ebebi challenged his impeachment in the Court, and the Court of Appeal sitting in Portharcourt ordered his reinstatement about 8 months later.
8. Mr. Sani Abubakar: Taraba StateMr. Sani Abubakar was the deputy governor to Gov. Danbaba Suntai of Tarana State until October 2012, when he was impeached by the state House of Assembly.It was alleged that the governor gave #100 million to the state Assembly members to carry out the impeachment of the deputy governor. The deputy governor was accused of fraud and abuse of power and was impeached accordingly.
9. Mr. Jude Agbaso: Imo StateMr. Jude Agbaso was elected as the deputy governor of Imo state alongside governor Rochas Okorocha in 2011, he challenged Okorocha second term bid on the ground that there was agreement that Okorocha would only spend 4 years in office and that led to his removal.The state House of Assembly then accused him of bribery and corruption, and 25 out of 26 members of the state Assembly voted for his impeachment in March 2013.
10. Alhaji Ali Olanusi: Ondo StateAlhaji Ali Olanusi was the deputy governor to Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state. He was impeached toward the 2015 General election when his boss defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and expected his deputy to do the same, but his deputy decamped to All Progressive Congress APC, this enraged Mimiko who invited the state Assembly to perform their duty.The Deputy Governor was eventually impeached against the Court order. The court, however, reinstated the deputy governor 2 years later, after the expiration of Mimiko’s administration, and ordered that all his entitlements as the deputy governor be paid and restored back to hi.
11. Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi: Enugu StateMr. Sunday Onyebuchi was the deputy Governor of Enugu state until he was impeached in August 2015. He had issues with the state governor, Sullivan Chime which led to his removal.The state House of Assembly found him guilty of all the allegations made against him and was impeached. The Court later declared his impeachment void and ordered his reinstatement with full entitlement.
12. Prince Ezeakonobi Madumere: Imo StatePrince Madumere was nominated as the deputy governor of Imo state by Gov. Rochas Okorocha after the impeachment of Jude Agbaso as the deputy governor in March 2013.Unfortunately, he experienced the same fate that befell his predecessor in the office, political interest divided him and his boss, who was planning to install his son-in-law as his successor against the expectations of the deputy governor that his own zone that has produced less number of governors in the state would be favored.Okorocha described Madumere as a betrayal and arranged for his impeachment which was later nullified by the court of law.
13. Elder Simon Achuba: Kogi State
Elder Simon Achuba was the deputy governor of Kogi state until his impeachment on the 18th of October 2019. The deputy governor and his boss, Gov. Yahaya Bello were at loggerhead for a while before the involvement of the state House of Assembly.Even though the 7 man penal of inquiry set up by the state Chief Judge ford him not guilty of all the charges against him, the House of Assembly went ahead to impeach him.The state High Court presided over by Hon. Justice John Olorunfemi, however, nullified the impeachment of the deputy governor and declared the swearing-in of his replacement, Edward Onaja as unconstitutional.The high influence of the state governors on their state Assemblies to carry out illegal impeachment of their deputies is worrisome, it is highly regrettable that the Assembly members do not possess the mind of their own but that of the governors, who give them directives against the spirit of the constitution.Impeachment has now turned to doing the bid of the highest bidder. As can be seen from the list above, the majority of the impeachments were illegal as they did not comply with the provision of the constitution.Imagine the recent developments in Ondo state, where 14 of 26 members of the state House of Assembly embarked on the process of impeachment of the state deputy governor without obtaining the 2/3 majority stipulated by the constitution.The prompt intervention of the state Chief Judge is highly commendable and that may be the beginning of an end to illegal impeachment in Nigeria