On Tuesday in Taraba, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha, former Governorship Candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) urged the State Assembly to commence the process to remove the ailing governor, Danbaba Suntai, from office.
Mustapha, who contested the governorship seat in 2007, said the Speaker of the House of Assembly was under obligation to immediately invoke Section 189 (1) (2) of the 1999 Constitution in the circumstance.
He told newsmen in Abuja that Section 189 of the 1999 Constitution mandates the Speaker to set up machinery in motion to scrutinise the prolonged poor health of the governor.
"The thrust of that provision is that Governors and Deputy Governors shall remain unfit to continue with their functions in an instance of incapacitation.
"The Speaker of the House of Assembly is compelled to invoke that section if not an impeachment proceeding would be brought against him.
"The People of Taraba are in darkness on the true position ofthings as the government has refused to tell the truth," he said.
NAN reports that In line with the provisions of section 190(2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the Taraba State House of Assembly on Nov 15, 2012 mandated the Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Garba Umar, to act as governor pending the return of Suntai.
The pronouncement momentarily lay to rest the controversy occasioned by the absence of the governor, who is currently undergoing treatment in a German hospital following injuries he sustained in a plane crash on Thursday, October 25.
Sub-section 2 of the constitution reads: "In the event that the Governor is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in sub-section (1) of this section within 21 days, the House of Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of the House, mandate the Deputy Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor."
Mustapha said the State Assembly must not hide behind the provision of Section 190 to violate Section 189 of the same constitution.
He said: "The assembly must strike a fair balance not to run fowl of the law."
He urged the Cross River and Enugu Houses of the Assembly to adopt similar measure by upholding the provision of the constitution to swear in their deputy governors as substantive governors of the states.
NAN reports that governors Liyel Imoke and Chime Sullivan have been away for medical attention in abroad for about 90 days each.