The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday 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 Gov. 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 8th 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 had 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 5th 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 for him to live a normal life.
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.
Contributing, Mr Segun Olulade, Chairman, House Committee on Health, commended the ad-hoc committee for its recommendations.
Olulade also commended Pedro for withdrawing court cases challenging his removal, to allow the Assembly wade into the matter.
According to the lawmaker, Pedro should be forgiven and allowed to contribute to the society.
Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho (APC- Mushin I) said: “I am in agreement with the report of the committee; all the allegations against Pedro were not criminal. The former deputy governor has displayed a lot of maturity and honourable behaviour. His name has to be cleared. He is a man of integrity and we should clear him of the allegations.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 36 members of the House were in support of the pardon 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.