The impeachment move against the President, was however, denied by the Senator, representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, who was present at the closed-door session of the upper chamber Tuesday, where the report first emerged.
APC’s position was contained in a statement by the party’s National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the party advised the senators in question to stop what it called “this huge joke” and concentrate on their primary constitutional responsibility of lawmaking.
“The party will not take issue with the Senate over the forgery suit and other court cases concerning some members of the 8th Senate because it will be subjudice.
“We advise the Senators in question to toe the same line and allow judicial process run its normal and legitimate course.
“Repeated allegations that the court cases are politically-motivated by the President and the APC are baseless. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration strictly respects the principle of rule of law and also adheres to the constitutional provisions of separation of powers between the three arms of government.”
On his part, the Secretary-General of Afenifere, Pa Sehinde Arogbofa, said the solution to the problem facing the country was not the impeachment of the President, just as he called on the National Assembly to settle whatever the problem it had with the President for the country to move forward.
“What have they done to correct the situation of the country? It is their government, it is an APC government. What have they done within their party internally to make things better? We have been hearing of corruption everywhere even among them. I don’t think they (members) are sincere with the move of saying they want to impeach the President.
“Their hands are not clean; if they are clean, people will support them; if their hands are clean, they will not be talking about pension and gratuities and other benefits for themselves, when people are hungry; when people are dying on the street; no food, no work for people and they are doing nothing about it.”
The Afenifere chieftain charged the National Assembly and the APC-led government to find solutions to the problems of the country rather than taking issue with the President.
“Let them go and settle the internal problem they have within themselves and give Nigeria better government. Nothing is moving. We need better government; it is not the impeachment of the President that we need now in Nigeria,” the Afenifere secretary stated.
Also reacting, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said: “The impeachment clause is a provision in our constitution and no one can query its use if there is a reasonable need for it.
“But as it is, we are dealing with a breaking rumour. The country will look at the grounds upon which such action is being contemplated if it ever comes on stream. For now, we have no such thing before us and we therefore cannot form any reasonable opinion yet.”
Secretary-General of the pan-Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, declined comments when one of our correspondents contacted him on Wednesday.
“I don’t want to make any comments on this matter. Let the political parties make their decisions,” Nwaorgu said.
However, the President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said Ohanaeze would not support the impeachment of the President if it was motivated by vengeance.
He, however, believed that Buhari should be impeached if he had committed an impeachable offence.
Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, Isiguzoro said, “If the President has committed any offence that warrants his impeachment, I think it will be in order to impeach him, but if it is done out of vengeance, malice or anger, especially because of the ongoing prosecution of the Senate leadership, then we will not support it.
“We advise the President to reconcile with the leadership of the Senate. He should stop the prosecution of the principal officers.
“We also advise Mr. President to stop his ‘Northernisation’ agenda. He should not continue to appoint only people from the North.
“In the same vein, we also advise the Senate to tread carefully. Impeachment is a serious matter and they should be careful so as to avoid any crisis that could undermine democracy in this country.
“We don’t want anything that could lead to another military intervention in Nigeria.”
The President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, described the alleged impeachment threat against the President as one “joke too many.’’
Ugwummadu, a lawyer, insisted that the AGF, under the constitution, has the power to institute criminal proceedings against anybody and take over as may deem fit.
He said, “I think it is one joke too many. The National Assembly, particularly, the Senate, must recognise that they (members) are there in representative capacity whereby their duty includes that of lawmaking, oversight duties and budgeting.
“However, this penchant of overreaching the other arms of government as though it is more of competition than collaboration doesn’t augur well at all.”
Denying any plot by the senator to impeach Buhari, , Dino Melaye, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, described the report as false and the handiwork of individuals, who believed that a Nigeria that was not led by them must not exist.
In a statement he signed, he described the allegation “as the narrative of the attack dogs of demagogues who have decided to turn Nigeria upside down for failing to choose leaders for Senators.”
Melaye said, “It is pertinent to note that the incredulously machinated misinformation was orchestrated by forces bent on destabilising the upper chambers of the Nigerian parliament for selfish reasons.”
Additional report by Punch