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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Nigeria's president told to resign
President Olusegun Obasanjo
The vote could damage Obasanjo politically
Nigeria's MPs have given President Olusegun Obasanjo two weeks to resign or face impeachment for incompetence and corruption.


Mr president... we hereby advise you to resign honourably within two weeks.

Nigerian MPs

The move comes after disagreements between the government and MPs over the budget.

At an emergency meeting called on Tuesday, the lower House of Representatives backed a motion proposed by 90 members of parliament.

The BBC's Dan Isaacs in Lagos say that Mr Obasanjo certainly will not resign and is unlikely to be forced out of office.

He says the MPs are trying to damage the president politically ahead of a poll due next year.

Mr Obasanjo was voted into power in 1999, bringing to an end 15 years of military rule.

'Resign honourably'

The motion condemned what it called "inadequacies, ineptitude, persistent disregard for the rule of law and the obvious corruption being perpetrated in the presidency."

Correspondents say a president can be impeached by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of parliament - the lower and the senate - under the Nigerian constitution.

They say a further two-thirds majority vote will be required to end a presidency after hearings under a panel appointed by the chief justice.

Nigerian Assembly in Abuija
The vote is the latest in a series of moves by MPs to embarrass Obasanjo

However, the leader of the opposition Alliance for Democracy told AFP news agency that it was unlikely there would be time to impeach Mr Obasanjo before next year's elections.

Oladipo Olaitan said the move was a sign that members of Mr Obasanjo's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) were turning against him.

Our correspondent says the motion is an indication of the frustrations of many that little has been done since the corrupt excesses of the military era to bring the worst offenders to book.

He says not a single significant public official in or out of office has been convicted of fraud-related crime during Mr Obasanjo's three-year tenure.


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19 Jun 02 | Africa
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