The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Thursday [Dec. 31], invalidated the 2007 impeachment of a former deputy governor of the state, Mr Femi Pedro. The resolution followed the adoption of the recommendation of an eight-member Ad Hoc Committee constituted on July 2 to review the circumstances that led to Pedro’s impeachment.
Pedro, who was deputy to former Governor Bola Tinubu, was impeached for gross misconduct on May 10, 2007, days to the end of the tenure of the administration. He had urged the House to revisit his impeachment in a letter sent to the eighth Assembly on compassionate grounds.
The House, after considering the ad-hoc committee report, on Thursday, passed a vote of confidence on Pedro, saying the allegations leading to his impeachment were not connected to criminal charges.
The committee, headed by the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, in its report said:
"In line with Rule 51 (6) of the Business Rules and Standing Orders of the Lagos State House of Assembly, the committee recommends that this House should, by a substantive motion, review the impeachment passed on Otunba Femi Pedro on Thursday, May 10, 2007 by the fifth Assembly.
"Pardon him and pass a vote of confidence on him as a fit and proper person that can be entrusted with political and administrative responsibilities."
Discussing the report at plenary, Mr Rotimi Olowo, the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, urged the Assembly to reverse the impeachment of the ex-deputy governor. Olowo said that Pedro had shown remorse and needed to be forgiven.
"To err is human, to forgive is divine. Pedro has shown much remorse and obedience; let's pardon him to have his sanity back. Pedro has passed through much psychological trauma," he said. Olowo said the purpose of the impeachment then was not based on fraud or criminal tendencies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 36 members of the House were in support of the invalidation while only one lawmaker voted against it and another abstained. The Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said that the House decided to pardon Pedro because he had shown remorse.
Obasa said that since Pedro was not convicted of any crime by any court of law, the Assembly had decided to pardon him and undo the impeachment served on him in 2007.