Okiro orders Idris out of government house
Okiro, who spoke about the order in an interview with our correspondent, said he had already communicated the directive to the Commissioner of Police in charge of the state, Mr. Ibezimako Aghanya. Okiro said Aghanya had been instructed to enforce the directive with immediate effect. The directive followed the exclusive report in The Punch on Friday that despite the removal of the governor by the Appeal Court on Wednesday, he had refused to move out of his official residence.
The former governor was said to still be calling the shots at the Government House, also called Lugard House, three days after the inauguration of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Clarence Olafemi, as acting governor. One of the removed governor’s aides, Mr. Farouk Adejoh, had told one of our correspondents on Thursday that his boss would still spend a few days at the lodge.
But the IGP told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that such a thing would not be allowed. He said, “I have asked the CP of Kogi State to make sure that the former governor is not allowed to stay any longer in the Government House. He has to pack out of the house since it is the official residence of a sitting governor; and since he is no longer the governor of the state, he has to move out.
“Also, his security details have to be reduced. This is because as a governor, he had a lot of security men around him. But now, things have changed. He must do away with the security men and this has been communicated to the CP. The CP has told me that the former governor has started packing out already, as I speak with you. But he has to quicken up.”
It was however not clear if the directive had been fully carried out as the CP’s voice was not audible on the telephone when our correspondent called.
Meanwhile, the Action Congress on Friday warned Olafemi against retaining the appointees of the removed governor.
The party said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that Olafemi’s pledge to retain the appointees was an illegal act, in the light of the former governor’s removal by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday. The party said since Idris was never deemed to have been elected as governor at the 2007 poll in the eyes of the law, any action he took in office was illegal, null and void.
The statement said, “Therefore, for Olafemi to keep the appointees of Idris, for whatever reason, will be piling illegality upon illegality, not minding that the decision (to keep the appointees) itself is an overly exuberant reaction by a man dwarfed by the status of his new office. “Olafemi should save the state from any further mess by immediately sacking all Idris’ appointees, whether they are commissioners, special advisers, heads of parastatals, Head of Service or whatever.
“Their appointments became illegal the moment the Court of Appeal ruled that the usurper governor was never elected in the first instance, and all their actions while in office are also illegal, null and void.”
The AC also said even Olafemi could not make his own appointments during his short tenure, since no provision was made in the 1999 Constitution for an acting governor to send a list of appointees to the State House of Assembly for ratification. The party said the mess in Kogi should be blamed on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu, “who has earned himself a terrible place in the history of Nigeria by ruining a historic election through gross incompetence, unbridled partisanship and lack of a strong moral fibre.
“Needless to say that the mess in Kogi would not have arisen if the man saddled with organising the 2007 general election had done the right thing. That is why we will not relent in calling for Iwu’s immediate removal to pave way for a capable fresh hand to organise the fresh polls ordered in droves by the various election tribunals,” the AC added.