Oct 21, 2020

Why Impeachment Proceedings Should Begin Against President Buhari Immediately


If you are a friend, visitor or lover of Nigeria, you are definitely aware of what is going on in the country at the moment. Young Nigerians who signified their discontent with police brutality through the #EndSARS hashtag had been staging peaceful protests all over the country until recently, when the process led to loss of lives and what is now being described as a full scale massacre of innocent demonstrators, perpetrated by state agents and security forces.

Yesterday, 20th of October, 2020, which is now called #BlackTuesday, the Nigerian government ordered soldiers to open fire on demonstrators, an action which has now resulted into the loss of tens of lives and also destruction of both public and private property. Social Media is currently awash with videos and photos of security agents killing unharmed citizens, some while the citizens were seen fleeing for their lives.

So why should President Buhari be impeached? If you are familiar with the antecedents of this government, you will agree that they have cracked down hard on dissent and have regarded any questions from the people as a direct challenge to their administration. Take a cue from Sowore, who called for a revolution in the country and how his fundamental human right were breached by State Agents and the Attorney – General of the Federation was heard in several interviews saying that any attempt to replace the government by unconstitutional means will be met with force. It is evident that this government is incapable of providing the kind of leadership that this country needs going forward, for instance since the deaths of Nigerian youths, the President has failed, refused and neglected to address the nation, despite a call from all areas of the country and most recently by the National Assembly. President Buhari still remains silent.

A look at our constitutional provisions, particularly Section 143 (2) states that a President can be impeached whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly:- (a) is presented to the President of the Senate; (b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified.

The above paragraph now begs the question what can be described as “gross misconduct” under the constitution? The Supreme Court in Inakoju & Ors vs. Adeleke & Ors (2007) LPELR – 1510 SC, describes it to mean “a grave violation or breach of the provisions of the Constitution or a misconduct of such nature, as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to be a gross violation.

What has President Buhari done that may be seen as a gross violation of the Constitution?

1.      President Buhari breached the fundamental rights of Nigerians when he ordered the military to shoot at citizens who were demonstrating for an end to police brutality, in breach of Section 33 of the Constitution, which provides that; Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.

 

2.  President Buhari breached the rights of Nigerian Citizens to lawful assembly as provided in Section 40 of the Constitution, when he ordered security operatives to disperse lawful and peaceful demonstrators through violence.

 

From the above, it is evident that by President Buhari ordering and/or condoning the shooting of unharmed demonstrators, the President has directed the very killing of the citizens he swore to protect and if this is not an impeachable offence, I don’t know what is.

 

Adedunmade Onibokun


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