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Confusion over pro-Ladoja lawmakers

Posted by By AKEEB ALARAPE, Ibadan on 2007/01/08 | Views: 405 |

Confusion over pro-Ladoja lawmakers


Tension rose in Ibadan Sunday over alleged plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct bye-elections into the 12 seats occupied by legislators that opposed the controversial impeachment of Governor Rasidi Ladoja on January 12, 2006.

Tension rose in Ibadan Sunday over alleged plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct bye-elections into the 12 seats occupied by legislators that opposed the controversial impeachment of Governor Rasidi Ladoja on January 12, 2006.

Although the embattled Speaker of the factionalised House of Assembly, Hon Abraham Adeolu Adeleke, has described the alleged plan as a ‘huge joke’ citing the legal action instituted by his team at a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Daily Sun learnt that the camp of the embattled strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, has been celebrating a possible second impeachment of Ladoja.

Interestingly, the public relations officer (PRO) of INEC in Oyo State, Mr Ayodeji Folami, denied any information relating to the conduct of bye-elections in the state, saying he was not aware of such development.

But in an unsigned document faxed to media houses in Ibadan on January 7, 2007, on Transcorp Hilton telecommunication line, INEC stated that it has fixed bye-elections into vacant seats "which do not have any legal impediments" for Saturday, 13th day of January, 2007 in line with the provisions of both the Constitution and the Electoral Act".

The document listed Akuku Toru Constituency in Rivers State due to the death of the legislator for the area; 20 state constituencies of Sokoto State due to the statutory vacation of the House; 12 state constituencies of Oyo State due to the statutory vacation of the House and lastly, Odo-Otin/Ifelodun/Boripe Federal Constituency of Osun State due to the death of a lawmaker from the area.
Reacting to the document, Hon Adeleke said the action would amount to gross illegality and contempt of court, saying that there was already a Federal High Court injunction which ordered that the status quo be maintained ante-bellum pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
"I heard of it 20 minutes ago and to the best of my knowledge, our seats couldn’t have been declared vacant constitutionally because there is a court order against it.

So I can say categorically that it is very wrong, except there is no Constitution in this country again. I can remember that when our colleagues passed a resolution on the floor of the House that our seats have been declared vacant, it was the same INEC that said "no it can not be part of such illegality" and therefore cannot conduct bye-election. So, such declaration is null and void.

"If truly our seats are declared vacant in contravention of the court order, then we will know that Nigeria is heading for the rocks. I know we need divine intervention in this matter", the Speaker stated.
Justifying their absence from the floor of the House throughout the time the impeachment logjam lasted, Adeleke hinged it on the insecurity in the state and threat to their individual lives and that of their family members.

"If INEC can justify the declaration of Sokoto lawmakers’ seats vacant because of their defection to another party, we have remained in the PDP despite the insecurity to our lives. Every reasonable person knows there was insecurity in the state. Honourable Olufemi Josiah was stabbed by a fellow lawmaker in the Assembly chamber, nothing was done about it up till today; so there is a cause for us to stay away for security reason", he added.

Meanwhile, Ladoja’s legal team reassembled Sunday over the document, which they regarded as a game plan by some unscrupulous politicians in the state and resolved to sue INEC for contempt of court.
Spokesman of the team, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, told Daily Sun that INEC has committed a contempt of court for listing Oyo State as part of the areas where bye-elections should be conducted despite the fact that its lawyers were present in court for the case.

But there were suspicions last night that the statement may be a rogue document meant for mischief as it had no signatory. More so because top INEC officials including the commission’s information managers in Abuja denied the existence of such a document.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown