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Group asks Tinubu to address ‘political crime’ in Rivers assembly

Group asks Tinubu to address ‘political crime’ in Rivers assembly
December 12
20:32 2023

The National Democratic Coalition (NDC), a non-partisan political group, has urged President Bola Tinubu to address the ongoing “political and constitutional crime” in the Rivers house of assembly.

Daniel Okwa, the group’s convener, spoke at a press conference on Tuesday over the defection of 27 Rivers lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“We urge President Bola Tinubu to come out in clear terms and condemn the criminality being attempted in the name of the political party he leads, the APC,” the group leader said.

“The president should tell Wike and the former lawmakers in clear terms that he cannot be associated or seen to be encouraging this shenanigans.”


He said the legislators were ill-advised because their actions contradicted the provisions of the nation’s constitution, noting that they must all forfeit their seats.

Okwa said it would be a “slap on the face of the law” if the lawmakers are seen to be above the law of the land.

“It is a matter of time before lawmakers in other states are induced, coerced, blackmailed, or railroaded into dumping the party on whose platform they were elected for the APC,” he said.


“When that begins to happen it would be too late to make any demands of those who will engage in such acts if we do not at this time correct those that have stood our democracy on its head.

“At a time when we now fear for our judiciary, this slap on the face of the law further undermines the judiciary if what the supreme court has been definite about in the past is again resurfaced.

“The supreme court had sacked lawmakers who became members of political parties that did not sponsor them into parliament even when their initial political parties were in crisis.”

Okwa said it is expedient that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct bye-elections to fill the seats of the affected lawmakers.


Quoting the constitution, Okwa said: “A member of a house of assembly shall vacate his seat in the house if – being a person whose election to the House of assembly was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected.

“The 27 controversial lawmakers must simply comply with the position of the law by vacating the Rivers state house of assembly having breached section 109 (g) of the constitution that brought them into office.

“Under the law, these lawmakers cease to be elected representatives of the people and their offices must be declared vacant.

“We find it most unfortunate that the 27 former Rivers state house of assembly members were misinformed and misled into defecting from the PDP to the APC without realizing that their action effectively means they have vacated their seats as elected lawmakers. It is an action that they have themselves to blame for.”




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