The PDP caucus in the House of Representatives has joined its Senate counterpart in issuing a six-week ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to address insecurity or risk impeachment.
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, gave the notice on Thursday, after a meeting of the National Assembly PDP Caucus at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
The meeting was chaired by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT), with more than 20 lawmakers in attendance.
The lawmakers held a closed-door meeting, after which Mr Elumelu briefed journalists on the resolution reached.
He stated that members of the House will also present a formal impeachment notice against the president if the general insecurity in the country is not addressed.
On Wednesday, PDP senators staged a walkout during a plenary session over insecurity in the country.
The lawmakers walked out of the chamber after the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, disallowed a motion on insecurity and impeachment of Mr Buhari.
We will gather signatures at the expiration of the ultimatum— Elumelu
Mr Elumelu said the lower chamber will commence the collation of signatures to trigger impeachment proceedings against Mr Buhari if the security situation is not addressed at the expiration of the six-week ultimatum.
He noted that the lawmakers have exhausted all means to address insecurity in the country, through resolutions and security summits.
According to him, Mr Buhari has ignored all recommendations of the lawmakers to address insecurity in the country.
He said the impeachment move is not a partisan matter, but rather, a cross-party affair. He stated that lawmakers in the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are in support of the impeachment move but many are not willing to speak out.
“They have given six to eight weeks for Mr President to address the insecurity that is affecting this country.
“I want to join my colleagues that upon expiration, we will prefer ways of ensuring we will gather all the signatures—let me make it clear, for those who are thinking it is an issue of only PDP or Minority caucus, no, many of our colleagues, under the ‘bipartisanship’—all of them are affected. All of them are affected—many of them. So, they may not be speaking but we will be speaking for them.
“We are asking Mr President to address the insecurity in this country within six to eight weeks unless we will find the constitutional means to ensure that we will serve him impeachment notice,” he said.
Section 143 of the 1999 constitution provides the process for the removal of the President or Vice-President. To commence the process, the notice must be signed by one-third (1/3) of the members of the National Assembly.
Section 143(2) of the constitution provides that “whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly.”
The National Assembly is made up of 109 senators and 360 House of Representatives members.
The one-third of the 469-member National Assembly stands at 157.
Furthermore, the notice, which must contain the offence of the president, must be presented to the President of the Senate, who has the responsibility to serve the notice to the president and every member of the National Assembly within seven days.
The motion must also get the approval of two-third (2/3) members of each chamber before an investigation could be launched.
Mr Aduda said the Senate caucus had to brief their counterpart in the House because the walk-out was spontaneous.
He disclosed that all senators across all parties agreed on impeachment notice, noting that all senators agreed that the security architecture is failing.
“Our action yesterday was spontaneous from the issues raised from the floor of the Senate. This issue is not just about PDP members, this is a ‘bipartisan’ issue.
“We all agreed that the security architecture in the country is failing and there is a need to salvage it immediately. We also agreed that—the issue is to issue an impeachment notice to the president,” he said.
The lawmakers are currently on holiday till September 20.