A Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Barr Chioma Choko has blamed the indiscriminate defection of politicians in the country from one political party to another on openings created in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) with regard to the subject matter.
Barr Choko made the assertion while exchanging views with The Tide in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, recently.
According to the lawyer, even though the constitution talks about the incidence of a division or crisis within a political party as a condition precedent for an elected member to move from his political party to another, the same constitution is not clear about what constitutes a division or crisis.
“Yes, we acknowledge that there are provisions (in the constitution) that allow a particular candidate (elected member) to move without approaching the court, the provisions of the law regulating this particular activity is not clear as to the definition of certain acts of that particular political party that can be concluded by members of the public to mean acts that are inconsistent with the rules and regulations of the political party,” he said, adding that “this, as a matter of fact, has given leeway to political party members who would want to move from where they say they’re no longer comfortable to a particular political party where they feel that their interest will be secured”.
With specific reference to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barr Choko, who is also a member of the APC in Rivers State said the legislators action could only be self-serving.
“In the case of Imo State, a large number of the society will agree with me that what is playing out there cannot be said to mean crisis in the political party that should warrant the defection of members of that political party.
“The members that have left the PDP for the APC do not have a good excuse or reason for which they have elected to so do. So, I have reason to conclude that these persons are not serving the interest of democracy.
“They, at every point in time, seem to be protecting their personal interest rather than the interest of their constituencies. They seem to be protecting their pockets. They seem to be protecting whatever monetary interests that may accrue to them as members of that particular house”, he argued.
Asked if he was excited to see the defectors move into the APC, the party stalwart said beyond swelling the numerical strength of the party and providing possible cover for the chief executive of the state, there was nothing useful to expect from them.
“If you look at the integrity of these persons, the question we will have to ask ourselves is ‘what do they really have to offer?
“These are persons who are coming to extract from the political party; they’re coming to extract from the executive arm of the government; they’re coming to benefit from where they did not work; they’re coming to rip off the state’s resources. So, it is not a good reason for me to rejoice for anything. They have nothing to offer”, he said.
By: Opaka Dokubo
Ekiti 2022: Oni’s Campaign Slams Fayemi
The Segun Oni Campaign Organisation(SOCO) has described the alleged boast by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, that he has the judiciary in his pocket to legitimise the election of governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji, as a product of hallucination.
The organisation said that it is very disgusting and debasing for a failed governor who during his tenure destroyed the legacies that used to make the state one of the enviable entities to now weave the nest to cage the judiciary in order to sustain his hold on Ekiti State resources.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, on Monday by the Director of Media and Publicity of the organisation, Mr Jackson Adebayo, the action of the governor was described as primitive, barbaric and callous.
The statement further read that the impunity with which the All Progressives Congress (APC) rules Nigeria and carries out the activities of their party is too glaring to be ignored by Nigerians hence, the national calamity bedevilling the country today.
Adebayo stressed that Governor Fayemi should explain to the whole world why his party presented candidates with forged results for election and how his party’s governorship primary was manipulated to bring out Biodun Oyebanji who was nominated by an illegal authority elected through front loading of election results.
The group maintained that Fayemi and his party deliberately perpetrated all these political heresies, basking on their culture of manipulating the judiciary as the boasting and antecedents suggest.
According to SOCO, the emergence of Governor Fayemi both in 2010 and 2018 also took the same route, hence, his belief in shortcut to the Ekiti Government House, forgetting that some people in the judiciary can still protect their integrity.
“Fayemi who said that those challenging the election of Oyebanji in court and tribunal are mere entertainers, that they don’t know that he has the judiciary in his pocket, should avail Nigerians how many Judges he has bought for the intended coded outcome of the court and the tribunal.
“We want to remind the governor that the ground which is before the tribunal goes beyond an ordinary technicality and legal masquerading. There are constitutional issues which had been decided at all levels of court in Nigeria, so any clandestine movement becomes suspicion”, the statement read.
The organisation added that leaders, sons and daughters of Ekiti and the leadership of the Nigerian judiciary should beam their searchlight on Ekiti State matters so as to save the last hope of the masses who voted but were cornered by the APC government.’’
PDP Forum Gives Ayu, Anyanwu, Others 48Hrs To Resign
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over recent corruption-related accusations has escalated as National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu and Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum have been given a 48-hour ultimatum to resign at the risk of legal action.
The threat followed a resolution by the Forum of PDP Candidates and Aspirants, which passed a vote of no confidence on the three officers.
They have also petitioned the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on the unanimous demand of candidates for the resignation of the above-mentioned officers.
The candidates who gathered and held their brainstorming session in Abuja, also alleged that the leadership of the party extorted several aspirants during the congresses, primaries and national convention of the party and swapped the names of candidates with the names of persons who did not win.
They pointed out that these “underhand actions of the leadership of the party are largely responsible for the nullification by the courts of the governorship primary in Zamfara State and all primaries held in Ogun State”, while noting that many more are still pending in court.
Chris Ogbu, who presided over the session as the Forum Coordinator and House of Assembly Candidate, also read the communiqué. He was flanked by Dauda Yusuf, the Forum’s Secretary and former governorship aspirant as well as several other members.
They demanded that Ayu, Anyanwu and Damagum step down immediately or be sacked by the party within 48 hours, at the expiration of which a legal action would be instituted to force them out of office, beginning from today.
The candidates/aspirants said that the alleged sharing of money paid for nomination forms by Ayu instead of utilising it for the prosecution of the historic 2023 election was very provocative and impacting negatively on the image of the party.
“Voters now see them as a come and chop or share the money party and that removing Ayu and his gang of party treasury looters will go a long way in showing that PDP is now a party that is intolerant of corruption,” the resolution reads.
FG Disowns National Honours List
The Federal Government has disowned the list of National Honours nominees that has been in circulation in the last four days.
The list contained the names of many public servants, retirees and even some who have died.
A statement signed by the Director of Press in the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and InterGovernmental Affairs, Julie Jacobs, the Federal Government said that the list did not emanate from its officials and that it would publish the authentic list at the appropriate time.
It said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.
“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari, will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on 11th October, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”
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