The Hallowmace Foundation has beamed its searchlight on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) interrogating the electoral umpire why it has not taken steps to conduct by-election to fill vacant seats at the National Assembly and some State Houses of Assembly.
The vacant seats came to be owing to death of members, resignation to take up new appointment and other issues without replacement for some months now.
The foundation expressed dismay that INEC is shirking from its duties wandering whether it is becoming so overwhelmed that the conduct by-election to fill such vacant seats after 60 days has been brushed aside.
It took note of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s election of its national leaders where Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nassarawa West) became National chairman of the party leaving his seat vacant in the National Assembly.
Also Sen. Abubakar Kyari (Boro State) was elected Deputy National Chairman (North) of theparty leaving his seat vacant.
On February 23rd, 2022, The Zamfara State House of Assembly impeached the deputy governor Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, from office, and immediately replaced him with Senator Hassan Nasiha the serving senator representing Zamfara Central Senatorial District, as a new deputy governor of Zamfara state, his seat is still vacant.
The lawmaker representing Oron Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Nse Ekpenyong, passed on to the great beyond, Mr Ekpenyong, 58, reportedly died on Saturday April, 25th, his seat is also vacant.
The Executive Director of the foundation Sunny Anderson Osiebe in a statement expressed worry that some other constituencies both Federal and State have existed for months without any representative, a case he liken to disenfranchisement of the constituents.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of Hallowmace Foundation has been drawn to the issue of vacancies, which have for some time now existed at the two Houses of the National Assembly and some State Assemblies as a result of deaths, resignations and sundry other factors and the urgent need to address what seemingly is an uncanny indifference on the part of INEC, the Electoral Management Body.”
He urged the electoral umpire to strive to fill the vacancies so created by such factors as identified earlier even with the tenure of the 9th Assembly subsisting till June next year.
“These past few months, our organisation, as a responsible Watchdog of the Legislature and a stakeholder Civil Society partner in our nation’s legislative business, has observed with serious dismay and concern that such vacancies that have occured in no less a place than the National Assembly and some State Houses of Assembly, where all Nigerians possess the right of representation, have been in many of the cases allowed to linger beyond the Constitutionally allowed threshold of sixty(60) days.
“As it now stands, all that concerned Constituencies without representation at the National Assembly and its State counterparts at present are allowed to stagnate without anyone promoting it.
“Without doubts, the current indifference or even perceived non-challant disposition of INEC, with regard to conducting elections to fill the vacancies created in such Constituencies constitutes gross negligence and a direct violation of Section 76(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
“While frowning at such affront against the laws of our land, Hallowmace Foundation, therefore, called on the esteemed Chairman of INEC and its numerous collaborators in the business of conducting elections in Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency activate all necessary mechanisms aimed at conducting bye elections in Constituencies that have lost their representative due to death, resignation or appointment into other political positions.
“The need for the above cannot be overemphasized. In the face of the present reality of non- representation for some Constituencies across the country at the National and State Assemblies, it is indicting negligence on INEC to stand aloof or claim ignorance of its Constitutional responsibility in this regard, especially, when considered against the backdrop that the current Assembly still has almost one year to wind down its tenure.
“This complete shirk in the responsibility of INEC seems to be nothing other than a calculated attempt to willfully deny a section of the populace their right to effective representation for whatever reason
He said they are using the medium as a strident and clarion call on the Electoral Management Body to rise up to the occasion and do the needful, knowing full well that in this case, time is of the essence, too, for such affected Constituencies without a current voice at the National and State Assemblies.
Akpabio debunks impeachment rumour, says Senate is stable, harmonious
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio has debunked the rumour that some senators were plotting to impeach him.
Reating to the insinuation through his special adviser (Media and Publicity) Eseme Eyiboh in a statement, he said the Senate is stable and harmonious as it cannot be distracted by the innuendo of the merchants of political tar brush.
Eyiboh describe the rumour as a syndicated media attack from outside the precincts of the National Assembly
Reacting to what he described as syndicated reports in some weekend newspapers about plots to distabilise the Senate and its leadership, Eyiboh said the reports were complete imaginations and sometimes laced with malice to achieve what senators are yet to comprehend.
According to him the Senate has since gone past the experience of the keenly contested leadership election
Eyiboh said the plot to drag in Senators who initially did not support the emergence of the present leadership into a conspiracy that does not exist was uncharitable to the senators and a needless umbrage.
“Senators are presently concluding their holidays in their constituencies and other places they have chosen to spend their time after the rigours of the inauguration and ministerial screening and other constructive engagements,” Eyiboh said.
“All senators are also refreshing themselves ahead of the resumption, therefore, any suggestions that they are presently engaged in other subversive plots against the institution is rather uncharitable. “It is mostly uncharitable for those senators who initially did not support the emergence of the leadership but who have all unanimously endorsed the Senator Akpabio-led leadership. Continuing to link these senators with needless conspiracy with barely disguised innuendo is rather unkind.
“We call on the media not to give in to the conspiratorial tales, and not to give damage to the reputations that they have built over time,” Eyiboh concluded.
Senate says, rumour of impeachment of Akpabio is a ruse
The Senate on Saturday described as a ruse the rumour making the rounds in some media that some Senators were planning to impeach the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.
A press statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Yemi Adaramodu said, “our attention has just been drawn to a syndicated satanic verses in a section of the media, of purported and illusory plots of leadership change in the Senate.
Top politicians strongly opposed to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, were alleged to have planned to remove him when the Senate resumes later this month.
The forces were reported to be upset that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor is playing the role of a lap dog for President Tinubu rather than serving the overall interest of lawmakers and Nigerians
They alleged that Akpabio’s closeness to the president has made him not pay full attention to his colleagues and work hard enough to meet the expectations of Nigerians despite the challenges in the country.
But Adaramodu said,
“The Nigerian Senate is one united and fraternal family. This imaginative composition is in the realm of the fake and fallacious story of 100m per legislator. It’s apt to note that the 10th Senate, under the leadership of Senator Godswill Akpabio, has carried out its legislative and constitutional duties diligently.
“Within a span of less than 60 Legislative days, the Senate has passed life enhancing bills and motions. It has screened and confirmed service chiefs and ministers, among others, apart from very essential oversight functions.
“We urge the fifth columnists, who operate undoubtedly outside the Senate, desperate to cause disharmony through media stunts and thus clipping the wings of Nigeria’s democracy, to take caution.
“The Senate should be allowed fresh air to settle down for its national assignments so that the Nigerian project can move forward. The media, too, should be discerning not to be used as hand tools to these retailers of fake and bad news,” the statement added.
Benue North-East Senatorial contest: Senator Suswam returns as Tribunal Sacks APC’s Udende
Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been returned as the senator-elect for Benue North-East as the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sacked Senator Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Udende as the winner of the Benue North-East senatorial election held on February 25.
Suswam, a member of the 9th senate, had lost his bid to return to the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
But he had proceeded to the court, arguing that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast in the 25th February, 2023 for the Benue North East Senatorial District election.
Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ory Zik-Ikeorha and another member, ruled in the favour of Suswam and PDP.
The duo, in their judgment, averred that Suswam and PDP fulfilled the requirement of the law in proving their case of irregularities such as mutilation, non-signing of documents, non-inclusion of lawful votes, among others.
But, in a minority judgement, Justice Umar Mohammed, opposed the decision of the two other members of the panel, saying that the petitioner failed to proved his case.
Mohammed held that Suswam who called 19 witnesses most of who were irrelevant as the irregularities complained about were at the polling units and instead he called ward agents instead of polling unit agents.
Suswam and PDP’s petition was predicated on the ground that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast during the election.
Justice Mohammed held that the evidence by Suswam was grossly insufficient to sustain his petition.
He therefore, dismissed the petition and awarded the cost of N100,000 in favour of each of the respondents against the petitioner.
Meanwhile, Innocent Daagba, on behalf of the APC, said, “we are not satisfied with the decision and will advice my client to appeal.”
The PDP, through Bemgba Iortyom, the State Publicity Secretary has applaude the judgment and congratulated the Senator.
The immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has also sent his congratulatory to Senator Suswam over his victory at the tribunal.
Ortom said the victory of Senator Suswam has further proven the capacity of the judiciary to uphold justice and serve as the bastion of democracy.
News From Kogi3 weeks ago
Echocho Challenges Tribunal Judgment ordering rerun in 94 polling units
Appointment5 days ago
Tinubu names El-Rufai, Tope Fasua, others in New appointments
Appointment2 weeks ago
Reps member commends Tinubu over critical appointments for Akwa Ibom people
News From Kogi3 weeks ago
Tribunal voids Kogi East senatorial election, orders rerun
News3 days ago
Tribunal declares Nasir Gawuna, winner of Kano governorship election, as it Sacks AbbaYusuf
Politics1 day ago
Ododo/Oyibo campaign in harvest of decampees as NNPP reps candidate, Amanabo Joins APC with Supporters
News From Kogi2 weeks ago
Natasha is the authentic winner of Kogi Central senatorial election, Tribunal declares
Law2 days ago
Nasarawa Guber: Agabi knocks INEC over inability to defend Sule’s purported victory