The House of Representatives has faulted the ruling of an Abuja Federal High Court restraining the National Assembly and its agents from taking over the Edo State House of Assembly until the determination of a pending suit before it.
Recall that the court restrained the Clerk of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, their servants, agents, officers or privies from interfering or taking over the legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.
Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Chairman House Committee on Media, said the ruling stands as a problem to the principle of Separation of Powers and that the National Assembly will surely appeal.
His said: “This 9th House believes in the democratic principle of separation of powers which is why this court ruling poses a problem.
“It is a core constitutional duty of the National Assembly that the court has attempted to prevent.
“This is like the National Assembly telling the President not to present the National Budget or like the Executive stopping the Courts from giving a ruling or judgment.”
According to Kalu, no arm of the government is supposed to abdicate power to another arm, adding that it is contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers that one arm of government should prevent another arm from carrying out its constitutional duty.
He said: “The Constitution in Section 11(4) is clear on this. Where the House of Assembly of any State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may intervene and take over the legislative functions of that House until such a time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions.
“It is no coincidence that this particular duty of the National Assembly to take over a State House that is unable to function falls under the section of the Constitution that deals with Public Order and Public Security.
“This is a matter of restoring public order and security in Edo State and the National Assembly has to perform its constitutional duty. It should not be a question for debate.
“Now maybe the courts can (if they find reason after the take over) say that the take over was wrong based on their own interpretation of section 11 but not to preempt a constitutional role which is Sacrosanct.
“Surely the doctrine of ripeness is applicable here. In some democratic climes Judicial restraint, which is the procedural approach to the exercise of judicial review, urges judges to refrain from deciding legal issues, and especially constitutional ones, except where the decision is necessary in resolving a concrete dispute between adverse parties.
“As a substantive approach, it urges judges considering constitutional questions to grant substantial deference to the views of the elected arms of Government and invalidate their actions only when constitutional limits have clearly been violated.
“we must respect it for now, the National Assembly will surely appeal the ruling.”
Kaduna Guber Contest: PDP Seeks Cancellation Of 515, 951 Votes
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Governorship candidate, Isah Ashru will today ask the Kaduna State Elections Petition Tribunal to cancel a total 515, 951 votes which it contended were unlawfully added to the total votes cast during the March 9 poll.
The tribunal had fixed Aug. 19 for adoption of final written addresses by counsel in the governorship election case.
A certified copy of the document to be adopted by the PDP was obtained by newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna, yesterday.
In the document, the PDP is asking the tribunal to declare Ashiru as the validly elected governor of the state by majority of lawful votes cast.
The petitioners had called 135 witnesses out of the 685 they assembled to prove massive rigging, ballot stuffing and other irregularities during the poll as contained in their petition.
In their final written addresses, the petitioners alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had added 391,741 votes to Nasiru El-Rufai of APC and a total of 124, 210 unlawful votes to the PDP through wrong or double entry on the result sheets.
The PDP and its candidate contended that declaring El-Rufai winner by INEC was illegal as he did not score majority of lawful votes cast.
The PDP through its legal team of Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN, Donald Denwigwe SAN, Chief Ferdinand O. Orbih SAN, Elisha Y. Kurah SAN and 14 other counsel said a deduction of 391,741 votes from 1,045,427 scored by El-Rufai and 124,210 from Ashiru’s 814, 168 votes will give victory to their candidate.
The counsels further argued that after the deduction of the alleged unlawful votes, Ashiru will be left with 689,958 lawful votes, while El-Rufai will have 653,686 votes.
The petitioners averred that evidence of their witnesses has demonstrated that there were “improper entries in the polling units results, wrongful collation of entries in the ward collation results including unstamped and un-authenticated votes and void or invalid votes were credited to the parties”.
They further argued that a total of 4, 235 votes were wrongfully credited to El-Rufai on form EC8A while 256 votes were also wrongfully entered for Ashiru.
In another polling unit 45,478 votes arising from unstamped result sheets were unlawfully credited to El-Rufai, while 9,655 votes were equally credited to their candidate.
Also 6,840 unlawful votes arising from improper collation figures were entered for El-Rufai while 1,098 vote were credited to Ashiru.
” Some 391,188 void and unlawful votes were also credited to El-Rufai while 113,001 votes were equally credited to the PDP in other polling units in the state,” the petitioners argued.
The party also submitted that it had produced enough material evidence of substantial irregularities to enable the tribunal declare its candidate winner of the March 9 governorship election in Kaduna State.
The PDP cited several authorities in the written address, alleging that INEC, El-Rufai and the APC did not demonstrate the required evidence to counter the relevant materials as well as oral and documentary evidence by their witnesses.
House Committee Condemns Attack On Ekweremadu
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Yusuf Buba (APC-Adamawa), has condemned the alleged attack on former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu by some members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany.
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, Buba urged Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Yusuf Tugga to ensure the attackers are made to face justice.
Ekweremadu had on Saturday attended the 2nd Igbo Cultural Festival of Iri Ji in Nuremberg, Germany, as a distinguished guest of honour on the invitation of the Igbo community.
Ekweremadu, who was however, violently attacked by some men believed to be members of the proscribed IPOB group was whisked away in a vehicle as seen in a video that had since gone viral.
The senator who had since released a statement confirming the attack said that he was fine and had received thousands of calls and messages from Nigerians identifying with him.
Buba said that given the high personality profile and the public service record which Ekweremadu parades, it was unthinkable for any individual or group anywhere in the world to attack him in such a manner.
According to Buba, his very own people in the diaspora who ought to know better to contemplate, carried out the despicable public act of shame that was brought upon a well-respected national leader.
Buba described Ekweremadu as an accomplished scholar in the legal profession and a political leader of high standing in society.
He also described Ekweremadu as one of the longest-serving senators, who had also in the last 12 years until June this year, held sway as the deputy president of the Nigerian Senate.
He said that before joining the Senate, Ekweremadu was also secretary to the Enugu State Government and had before then served in various capacities in that state.
“I, therefore, in very strong terms, condemn in its entirety the action of the group of Igbo people, alleged to be members of the outlawed IPOB.
“I also wish to join other Nigerians and leaders to call on the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Yusuf Tugga to investigate and bring to book everyone who was part of that dastardly assault on a serving national leader,” he said.
Kalu Condemns Attack On Ekweramadu In Germany
The Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate, Dr Orji Kalu, has condemned the attack on the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweramadu in Germany by some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ekweremadu, who attended the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany, was assaulted physically by some members of the group.
A video showing the assault on Ekweremadu by the group had gone viral across the various social media platforms.
Kalu, a two-time governor of Abia, in a statement issued by his Media Team yesterday in Abuja, described the action of the group as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.
He urged Igbo people to respect leaders at all levels, noting that the only way the South-East zone could be prosperous was to embrace dialogue, peace and unity.
Kalu in the statement made available to newsmen also urged the Embassy of Nigeria in Germany, the German Government and appropriate authorities to bring the perpetrators of the act to book.
“After watching a viral video of the physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate Sen. Ike Ekweramadu, I was not only disappointed but irritated and disturbed with the action of some members of IPOB.
“The assault on the senator is a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of age, party affiliation and religion,’’ Kalu said.
According to him, the perpetrators of the uncivilised act must face the wrath of the law.
“Sen.Ekweramadu is not only one of the Igbo leaders but also a prominent Nigerian and as such should be accorded due respect by all and sundry at home and abroad.
“For the South-East to move forward, the people of the region must embrace dialogue as a way of resolving pertinent issues and eschew violence.”
Kalu, who appealed to Igbo across the globe to be law-abiding and remain good ambassadors of Nigeria, urged Igbo groups to educate their members on the consequences of social vices.
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