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The BBC's Barnaby Phillips
"People have watched the proceedings in the Senate with a mixture of fascination and horror"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 8 August, 2000, 22:26 GMT 23:26 UK
Nigeria's senate president impeached
National Assembly building in Abuja
MPs are accused of flagrant corruption
Nigeria's parliament has voted to impeach its president, Chuba Okadigbo, following demands for his resignation over allegations of corruption.

The vote, which was passed by 81 votes to 14, came after an earlier motion calling for Mr Okadigbo to step down.

His impeachment follows the resignations of deputy senate president Haruna Abubakar, and the parliamentary majority leader Samaila Mamman.

Last week, an internal investigation concluded that the principal officers in the Senate had been guilty of gross abuse of public office.

During the earlier vote, Mr Okadigbo stepped aside to allow the debate on the corruption allegations, which he refutes, to go ahead.

But the Senate president, the third ranking politician in Nigeria, protested his innocence saying he would not be "stampeded" out of office.

"The only way to get rid of this Senate president, of this Fourth Republic, is to go through the constitutional means," he told a packed Senate.

'Gross abuses'

Last week's report called on the Senate leadership to resign and said they should be investigated by the police.

Accusations against Senate President
Bought another eight official cars for $290,000 bringing his total of official vehicles to 32
Spent $225,000 on garden furniture for his luxury government house
Spent $340,000 furnishing the home to his taste, $120,000 over the authorised budget
The unauthorised purchased a massive generating and inflated the price to $135,000
Accepted a secret payment of $208,000 from public funds
It accused the Senate leadership of gross abuses of power, flagrant disregard of rules and personal enrichment.

"All these lapses constitute an abuse of office and a serious indictment of the Senate president for which he cannot avoid personal liability," the report said.

Nigeria's largest trade union has threatened industrial action if those mentioned in the report do not resign.


Nigeria's National Assembly has been hit by a series of scandals ever since the country returned to democratic rule in May.

In November last year the former Senate president, Evan Enwerem, was impeached following months of allegations and rumours that he had lied about his age and academic qualifications.

In July last year the then Lower House Speaker, Salisu Buhari, stood down when he admitted having lied about his qualifications.

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