Onoja and Bello/NAN

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has chosen his immediate Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja, to replace Simon Achuba as the new Deputy Governor of state.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Onoja was sworn in on Saturday as the new Deputy Governor of the state.

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Concise News reports that this development is coming a few days after Onoja resigned as the governor’s Chief of Staff and Achuba’s subsequent impeachment by the state House of Assembly on Friday.

Achuba’s impeachment followed the submission of a report of a committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against him.

It was learned that a seven-man committee headed by John Bayeshea submitted the report to the Speaker of the House, Mathew Kolawole, before Achuba was impeached.

Achuba was sworn in as the Deputy Governor on 9 February, after defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But the two men later fell out, with Achuba, in August 2019, raising an alarm of an alleged threat to his life as he accused Bello of intolerance of contrary views.

He also criticised Bello’s administration for non-performance, claiming that was the reason for the rift between him and the governor.

Members of the Assembly said the action of Achuba was gross misconduct against Bello and the people of Kogi State.

The Assembly had, thereafter, directed the Chief Judge in the state to set up a committee to proceed with the impeachment of Achuba.

But Achuba filed an application before the State High Court, Lokoja, to challenge the impeachment notice served on him.

Reacting to his impeachment, Achuba condemned the state House of Assembly over their actions.

Achuba stressed that his impeachment by the lawmakers was illegal, saying they didn’t follow the due process involved.

He said: “What they have done is nothing. I am the deputy governor of Kogi State and I remain the deputy governor of Kogi State.

“Impeachment has processes and the last process of impeachment is the verdict of the panel.

“If the panel says the case of the complainant is proved, it means that the accused which is the respondent in the case can be removed. But if their case is not proved, they can’t do anything concerning my office and that is the situation.”

According to Achuba, the report before the Assembly stated that the case brought against him was not proved.

He explained that he did what was expected of him and presented himself before members of the seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge in the state.

“So, what you have seen is the continuation of the illegality that I have complained about loudly.

“I will get a copy of the report in no time to prove to you that what they have done is complete illegality,” Achuba said.