Impeachment Imbroglio and “The Impeachment of Reason” in Nigerian Politics, 1999-2007
AbstractThe paper is a philosophical and comparative analysis of the impeachment saga in Nigeria in the last quarter of 2005 and most of 2006. Since Nigeria borrowed the constitutional system she purports to practise from the U.S.A, the U.S. experience is brought to bear. The
paper argues that in the U.S.A. impeachment is straight forward enough; it is a matter strictly within the purview of the legislature. In Nigeria, all manner of people and institutions, from the presidency to local godfathers were allowed to get involved in the impeachment
process and praxis. The end result was the subversion of the constitution on a grand scale. The paper queries the motives and mental state of those who, directly or indirectly, took part in the impeachment exercise. While not holding brief as to the innocence or otherwise of those governors impeached, it is argued that impeachment of public officials must be carried out in accordance with the strict stipulations of the constitution; and due process backed by purity of motive must be the guiding principle. Only then can impeachment, if it becomes necessary, contribute to the advancement of the cause of law and democracy in Nigeria.