The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as a nullity the directive by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to provide security for some individuals who controversially took oath of office as member-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly earlier in the week.
This is as the party said “nothing in sections 90, 91, 101 and 104 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cited by the Attorney General, empowers him to go to the streets of any part of our nation to assemble some clowns and declare them members-elect of any House of Assembly, without any electoral mandate.”
Addressing a world press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja Saturday, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan highlighted reasons those sworn-in as lawmakers shouldn’t be so recognized until a court of competent jurisdiction rules otherwise.
He said: “Perhaps, the Attorney General should be made aware that the said individuals have been absent for 180 days during which they abandoned their mandate and for which their seats were declared vacant in line with the rules of the legislature and the laws of the federation.
“It is trite in law that with their seats declared vacant by the House, they have consequently lost their memberships and respective mandates.
“Furthermore, the Attorney General ought to have availed himself of the facts that the Edo State House of Assembly, as constitutionally constituted, had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, asking it to conduct fresh elections into the vacant seats in line with the provisions of our constitution and the Electoral Act.
“If the AGF had bothered to get his facts correctly before issuing the unconstitutional warrant for the gestapo operation to the IGP, he would have known that the matter of the declaration of the seats of the errant individuals and the request for the conduct of fresh elections to fill the vacant seats are pending in competent Court in Edo State at the instance of his ‘clients’ and therefore it is sub-justice for him to speak on it or cause an action to be taken.”
The party further urged the AGF to “go back to the constitution and recheck if any sections warrant him to take any action whatsoever which compromise, derogate or infringe the powers donated to any court in Nigeria apart from the powers of nolle pro seque of his office.
“Our party holds that there is no part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which enabled him to do so.
“The PDP wants to make it abundantly clear to Malami and his All Progressives Congress, APC, that he does not possess the powers of a competent court and as such, cannot, by any stroke of imagination, make any judicial declaration whatsoever on a matter that is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Furthermore, our party insists that there is no provision in section 90, 91, 101 and 104 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or any other provision of the constitution for that matter, empowers him to do so.
“What Nigerians expected of the AGF was for him to advise his “clients” to wait for the ruling of the court and, perhaps, prepare for their bye-elections, if they still wish to be in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“The PDP, and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo state, completely reject this thoughtless and partisan directive of the AGF which is directly responsible for Thursday’s attempt to topple democratic order and the Edo state House of Assembly.
“It is rather unfortunate for the AGF to ask the IGP to provide security for impostors. That directive, in itself, is reckless.
“Nigerians can now see those who provided the arsenal for the failed coup against democratic order in Edo state as well as those engineering a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“The PDP urges Nigerians to hold the Attorney General, Malami, responsible should there be any violence before, during and after the Edo state governorship election arising from the contents of his ill-advised letter.
“Our party therefore charges the Inspector General of Police to disregard this misguided partisan directive by the Attorney General as well as ensure that the Police is not entangled in such a partisan agenda against the people of Edo state,” he added.
Fielding questions from journalists on the sideline of the press conference, Mr. Ologbondiyan dismissed insinuations that Governor Godwin Obaseki may be a target man for impeachment adding that those mooting the idea are not recognized by law as members of the Edo State House of Assembly.