Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Vacates Seat.

By Eze Eluchie on 01/11/2014

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Picture: Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tumbawal.

By announcing his membership of another political party prior to the expiry of the tenure of the House for which he was elected, in the absence of either a division or factionalization in the party which sponsored his nomination into the House of Representatives, ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tumbawal, has vacated his seat in the House of Representatives as a Member representing the people of “Sokoto Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency” of Sokoto State, north-west Nigeria!!


The provisions of Section 68{1}(g) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution is explicit and requires nothing else to ensure its enforcement – the pronouncement, by ex-Speaker Tumbawal, of joining the membership of another political party suffices for law enforcement and other agencies of government charged with the enforcement of the Constitution to ensure that the spirit and letters of the Constitution of the Federal Republic is respected and enforced.


Mr. Tambuwal's continued pretense at occupation of the revered position of Speaker and membership of the House of Representatives, after his public pronouncement of becoming a member of another political party other than the one which sponsored his election into the present House of Representatives must be swiftly corrected and visited with the necessary legal and penal consequences, least of which are for impersonation and fraudulent misrepresentation.


An excuse that this explicit provision of our Constitution had not been previously enforced is a non-starter. We must enforce clear cut provisions of our Constitution to avoid the stigma of being regarded/treated with disdain and nonchalance by other actors in the international community and perceived as a ‘banana-republic’.


If we do not begin to take ourselves and our Constitution serious, we may wake up one day down the road from now, only to discover that the President of the Federal Republic, the President of the Senate, a State Governor or other high ranking elected public official has ditched his Nigerian citizenship in favor of a foreign nationality and we will be ruled over by a non-Nigerian, in violation of our Constitution, and be stuck with the lame excuse that previous violations of constitutional provisions as the qualification for contesting or remaining in elective positions had previously been violated without any consequences to the violator.


For starters, the various security agencies must withdraw the retinue of operatives previously attached to Mr. Tambuwal by virtue of his previous position as Speaker of the House of Representatives; the Clerk of the National Assembly must ensure that all properties attached to the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives are recovered and kept in safe custody pending when a new Speaker emerges.


Again, where is the Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation?


Let us begin to take ourselves and our laws serious for once!




Posted on November, 2 2014

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