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Fresh crisis brews in Ekiti over state electoral commission

Posted by By RAZAQ BAMIDELE on 2008/05/02 | Views: 570 |

Fresh crisis brews in Ekiti over state electoral commission


Action Congress, (AC) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has raised an alarm that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the state House of Assembly were planning to subvert the rule of law by trying to pass the State Independent Electoral Commission (EKIEC) bill through the back door.

Action Congress, (AC) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has raised an alarm that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the state House of Assembly were planning to subvert the rule of law by trying to pass the State Independent Electoral Commission (EKIEC) bill through the back door.

This is even as the Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Bamisile, confirmed that the controversial bill had been passed.
Fayemi, at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, informed that “only six members of the PDP in the House of Assembly were found in the Assembly chambers by 6.00 a.m trying to pass the bill for the composition of the state electoral body,” saying “besides the fact that six members cannot form a two-third quorum of 26 member House, it is also against the House standing rule to sit before 10 a.m for deliberation.”

According to him, the PDP was trying to constitute the electoral body illegally so as to hold the local government polls in the state before the determination of the AC petition before the state election petition tribunal.
While informing that the case has been reported to the police and the State Security Service (SSS), the AC governorship candidate also disclosed that an appropriate legal action has been taken to stop the PDP from going ahead with its illegal procedure, warning that “Ekiti people will never allow local government polls to hold in the state under any illegal arrangement.”

The politician, therefore, called on President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to warn the PDP elements in Ekiti against any act that could negate his administration’s touted love for the rule of law and due process, saying that “their love for illegality and subversion of the rule of law, if not checked, can plunge the state into avoidably unnecessary violence of an unimaginable proportion.”
In his own comment, during the press briefing, the National Publicity Secretary of the AC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, attributed the illegality going on in Ekti State to the legacy left behind by the former president Olusegun Obasanjo, reminding that “it was during that dispensation that only six members of the Plateau House of the Assembly purportedly impeached Governor Joshua Dariye.”

Some PDP members of the House however said they have s c r e e n e d a n d c o n f i r m e d t h e n o m i n a t i o n o f m e m b e r s o f t h e S t a t e I n d e p e n d e n t E l e c t o r a l C o m m i s s i o n ( S I E C ) , u r g i n g t h e m e m b e r s t o p e r f o r m t h e i r duties without fear or favour.
The confirmed members of the electoral commission include Major Gen S. K. Oni (rtd) who is the chairman. Other members include Barrister Sesan Akinola, Mrs. Tola Ajayi, Mr. Babatunde Odutola, Chief Olu Osaloni, Mr. Awopetu Olutayo and Chief Yemi Komolafe.

Speaking on the confirmation of the SIEC members, Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Bamisile said the coast was now clear for the conduct of the much-awaited local government elections.
On the legality of the exercise, the speaker pointed out that only nine members are needed for the House to sit and the sitting was attended by 12 members. He noted that the House has the power to suspend its Standing Order on the sitting of the House depending on the prevailing circumstance.

In his own comment, pioneer Speaker of the State House of Assembly who is also the Special Adviser to the State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni on Parliamentary Matters, Hon. Kola Adefemi said the House did not commit any illegality by screening and confirming the SIEC nominees.
“The House requires only nine members to form quorum and in this case, 12 members sat. So where is the illegality?

“Again, on the argument that the House sat very early in the morning, there is nothing wrong in that. The House can sit anytime it deems fit depending on the urgency of the business of the House.
“I was Speaker of the House of Assembly in this state for four years during the tenure of Otunba Niyi Adebayo who is now a chieftain of AC and we stepped down some of the rules in our Standing Order to carry out certain urgent state assignments. Nobody raised an eyebrow, nobody took to the streets and nobody fired any shot in the air.

So why are some AC people complaining now?” Adefemi said. Also commenting on the exercise, former Speaker of the old Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Femi Akinyemi described the action of the Assembly men as a positive step towards further moving the state forward, saying members of the Action Congress (AC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties stand to benefit from the conduct of the local government elections.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.