Edward Onoja sworn-In as Kogi State Deputy Governor. (Image credit Channels TV)

The immediate past Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello, Edward David Onoja, has been sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

Concise News understands that Onoja is also running with Bello in his re-election race for the highest office in the north-central state.

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The swearing-in ceremony for Onoja was held on Monday at the Government House in Lokoja, as the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana, administered the oath of office on him in the presence of his wife.

His boss, Governor Bello, some members of the State House of Assembly, and top government officials in the state attended the event.

Onoja was sworn in shortly after he appeared before members of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

He was screened by the lawmakers at exactly 8:27 am at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Lokoja.

Bello replaced Simon Achuba with Onoja after the former was impeached by the state assembly.

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.

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, stressing that his impeachment by the lawmakers was illegal.

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.”