Nigeria News
Tambuwal: IG’s Action Undermines Constitution, Says Nwankwo
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Ag. Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Suleiman Abba

  • Abe: Plots to Oust Tambuwal will Fail

By Tobi Soniyi

Human rights lawyer and Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Mr. Clement Nwankwo, has asked the acting Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Suleiman Abba, to respect Nigeria’s constitutionally guaranteed principles of separation of powers and avoid enmeshing himself in unprofessional partisan political actions.

Nwankwo, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said it was “bizarre, outrageous and unacceptable for a police officer functioning as part of the executive arm of government to assume the garb of a judicial officer and embark on an unsolicited and ridiculous voyage of pronouncing interpretations to provisions of the constitution as to declare the seat of an elected member and Speaker of the House of Representatives vacant.”

According to him, the IG’s action, in further proceeding to withdraw police protection to the speaker was a brazen and crass display of bias and partisanship which threatens the responsibility and duty of the police to maintain neutrality and avoid taking sides in the struggle among politicians contesting for political power.
Nwankwo called on the IG to immediately restore police protection to the speaker and avoid further acts of impunity and abuse of police powers which he is supposed to hold in public trust and accountability to Nigerians.

He said it was the duty and responsibility of the members of the House of Representatives to take action to remove their speaker where they find it appropriate to do so and not that of the police, who he alleged was obviously acting at the prompting of and under pressure of his appointing bosses.

The senator representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plotting to remove the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal for defecting to the All Progressives Party (APC) through the backdoor, saying the move will fail because the party cannot muster the constitutional requirement.

This is as he insists that Nigeria don’t need leaders with excuses while the people are being slaughtered, just as APC receives, the PDP Chairman of Ward 17 in Gokana Local Government of Rivers State, Barioma Fili who doubles as Chairman of PDP Chairmen in the area.

Abe, who stated this in Bera while addressing APC Executives from the 17 Wards of Gokana on the collection of permanent voters card and continuous registration slated for November 7-10 said, efforts to remove Tambuwal from Office will be futile as it would be difficult to get no fewer than 240 members of the lower chamber to endorse his removal as stipulated by the country’s constitution.

“The Speaker of the House of Representatives has joined our party, the APC, for the same reasons we left the PDP. People are leaving PDP because there is no justice, integrity, honesty and respect for rules that govern the game.

They have withdrawn the number four citizen’s security details because he left the PDP. Our constitution is very clear. You can become a Speaker of the House of Representativesonce you are a member of the House, and our constitution says members of the House will elect one person as their speaker. Consequently, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal was elected as their Speaker,” he explained.

Abe said: “Because they cannot remove him through the law, they are trying to turn the National Assembly into the Rivers State House of Assembly. Nigerians must reject this kind of behaviour; let us make it clear to those who have power that violating the constitution will not help them because it is the constitution that will protect you and I.

Tomorrow when I am no longer a senator, I will depend on that constitution. Tomorrow when you are no longer a governor, you will depend on that constitution. Tomorrow when you are no longer a president, you will depend on that constitution”, and congratulated Tambuwal for joining those who believe that this country must move forward.

“Nigeria is at war; there is trouble in Northern Nigeria. There is a town called Mubi, it is the biggest cattle market in West Africa, it is home to thousands of Nigerians. Boko Haram has over-run that town.

“They have driven everybody out;  killing people and those people are Nigerians. We have freedom of movement, religion and association in Nigeria. But today, thousands of Nigerians like you and me cannot enjoy these freedom.”

“We need leaders that will provide solution to the problems of this country. We don’t need leaders that will continue to give excuses while Nigerians are being slaughtered. We don’t need leaders that will continue to point fingers when things are going wrong. We need leaders that will provide solutions to the problems of Nigeria. Anybody who doesn’t have a solution should give way, so that people who have solutions can come in.”

The sensitisation campaign also witnessed the defection of the Chairman, PDP Ward 17 in Gokana Local Government, Barioma Fili who before the move was also the Chairman of PDP Ward Chairmen in the Area to APC.

In his speech, Fili who was introduced by Victor Giadom, Rivers Commissioner for Works, said: “I join APC because I am no longer comfortable with the lies that I am being repeatedly told, I have also realised that my supporters are no longer comfortable with their membership of the PDP; since I cannot remain alone, I have freely chosen to join the APC.”

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