The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the service of impeachment notice on Samuel Ortom, Benue governor, by eight members of the state house of assembly is illegal.
The party made this known in a communique issued after the end of an emergency meeting of its national working committee on Monday in Abuja.
Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the party, who read communique, said: “The NWC condemns in its entirety the purported sitting of eight APC members, including the impeached and suspended speaker.
“This purported happened in a 30-member house, wherein they illegally claimed to have served an impeachment notice on the governor of Benue, Dr Samuel Ortom.”
The PDP also condemned the alleged use of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Department of State Security (DSS) to harass and intimidate officials of Benue government.
Ologbondiyan said the PDP has observed the roles played by Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, the federal government and senator George Akume in encouraging the action.
The PDP spokesman said Oshiomhole’s actions and opinions on Ortom’s defection to PDP and the deployment of policemen to force the purported issuance of illegal impeachment notice were intended to precipitate a crisis in the state.
“It is on record that the erstwhile speaker had been impeached, suspended and restrained by a court of competent jurisdiction from parading himself as speaker,” Ologbondiyan said.
“In spite of this, it is shocking that no fewer than 300 policemen were alleged to have escorted the impeached speaker to the house of assembly to initiate a disgraceful and manifestly illegal process.
“Our party warns against deliberate acts which were maliciously designed to truncate democracy by employing underhand tactics to achieve what is inconceivable in a democracy.
“The party calls on Nigerians, civil society organisations and international community to note series of plots and deliberate attempts by the federal government to cause mayhem in a state struggling to recover from killings and bloodletting.
“We are aware that these plots were designed to scare away Nigerians, including state governors and legislators, who are desirous of rallying with the PDP to rescue our nation from ill-governance.
“However, party urges members to remain steadfast as no amount of intimidation, harassment and assault on processes would suppress the freedom of choice eminently guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Ologbondiyan urged PDP members, particularly those in Benue, to rise in defence of their rights and the country’s hard-earned democracy.