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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 16:20 GMT
Nigerian state impeaches governor
Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, impeached governor of Oyo State (from the Oyo State Government website)
Mr Ladoja says legislators were coerced into impeaching him
The Nigerian governor of Oyo State has been impeached by state legislators and arrested on allegations of corruption.

Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja has lost his battle to remain in office after he fell out with his political backer.

After the 20-minute impeachment hearing, he was arrested by police and flown to the capital, Abuja, for questioning by anti-corruption agents.

He is the second governor to be impeached recently. Unless impeached, governors enjoy judicial immunity.

This is also the second time a governor has publicly fallen out with his backer, known in Nigeria as a political godfather.

Homage

After Mr Ladoja's arrest, his deputy Christopher Alao-Akala was sworn in as governor of the south-western state.

The BBC's Sola Odunfa in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, says immediately afterwards Mr Alao-Akala drove in a motorcade to the residence of Lamidi Adedibu, the former governor's political godfather.


A large crowd cheered as the new governor paid homage to Mr Adedibu and promised to toe the ruling party line, our correspondent says.

Eighteen of the 32 legislators voted to proceed with impeachment after considering a report by a panel set up to investigate the governor.

Earlier, Mr Ladoja had accused them of taking bribes, saying they had been induced or coerced.

The legislators were reported to have said they had uncovered attempts by Mr Ladoja to sack the chief judge on the investigating panel.

Security fears

There is a high security presence throughout the state, prompting fears there may be further violence.

Earlier this week, the state's chief imam called on the former governor and Mr Adedibu not to attend Muslim Eid prayers, to avoid clashes between their supporters.

Last month, the political fallout between them erupted into street violence as gunmen clashed around parliament.

Correspondents say Mr Adedibu has been a powerful political figure in Ibadan for many decades.

Mr Ladoja will now be questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly misappropriating state funds.

Fighting fraud

The body was set up by President Olusegun Obasanjo in order to fight fraud in a country ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world.

In December, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of oil-rich Bayelsa State, was impeached and charged with corruption after jumping bail in the UK.

Three years ago, Anambra State governor Chris Ngige was kidnapped and forced to write a resignation letter at gunpoint after failing to do the bidding of his backer.

He remains in office but has been expelled from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).




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