Seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria will defend the embattled Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, when the panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Dikko, begins sitting this week.
The PUNCH’s investigations in Lafia, the state capital, showed that the seven-man team of SANs, arrived in Lafia, the state capital on Sunday.
It was gathered that the SANs drove straight to the Government House, where they met on how to defend the governor at the panel.
Acting on the directive of the state House of Assembly, the chief judge had on Friday set up the seven-man panel to probe the governor on the allegation of gross misconduct and abuse of office.
A top government official, who pleaded anonymity, confided in The PUNCH that the governor had hurriedly put together the seven-man team of SANs, to represent him at the investigative panel.
The lawmakers had last week vowed to go ahead with the impeachment move against Al-Makura, despite the intervention of traditional rulers in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Affairs, Abdulhamid Kwarra, who addressed a press conference in Lafia on Tuesday, stated that the governor was putting everything together to appear before the panel at the appropriate time to defend himself.
When contacted on the telephone on Sunday to ascertain whether or not, the governor would make good his promise to appear before the panel, Kwarra did not pick his calls.
But in an SMS to our correspondent, Kwarra asked, “ Haba, do you expect anything short of that?”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Governor of the state and a professor of law, Onje Gyewadu, has asked the governor to resign.
This, he said, would be more honourable than being impeached.
Addressing journalists in Lafia, Gyewadu said that Al-Makura’s travails were due to his bad leadership style.
He added that the impeachment process was a right step in the right direction.
Gyewadu stated, “The lawmakers are the true representatives of the people and whatever they do is in the collective interest of all and sundry.”
On his part, a former magistrate and legal adviser to Ombatse, a cultural group, Zamani Zacharia Alumaga, said he had been vindicated.
Alumaga stated, “I kept telling people that we came all out in 2011 because the oracle we went to said Al-Makura will win; and, today, that is history. The same oracle told us again that the governor will not exceed 2015 and the governor himself is aware of this. True to it, this too shall come to pass.”
Also on Sunday, the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Security, Baba Ibaku, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the actions of the lawmakers were constitutional.
He further stated that those spreading falsehood should stop in the interest of the public.
Ibaku stated the protests that had been recorded in the state since the governor was served the impeachment notice were sponsored by some disgruntled elements in the state.
The lawmakers insisted that the protests had no value to what the sponsors intended to achieve.
Ibaku condemned the governor for bringing protesters from other parts of the North into the state, arguing that they were brought to cause disharmony in the state.
Commenting on the situation in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, Francis Orogu, (Keana Constituency) said those spreading the rumour did not mean well for the state.
Orogu, who spoke with journalists on the telephone in Lafia, on Sunday, further expressed surprise that some people were not looking at the gravity of the offences said to have been committed by the governor.