Kogi governorship crisis: Reps to address constitutional gaps

Kogi governorship crisis: Reps to address constitutional gaps

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:20 am

Abubakar Audu: his sudden death put Kogi in turmoil

Abubakar Audu: his sudden death put Kogi state in electoral turmoil

The House of Representatives said the review of the 1999 Constitution would be used  to address constitutional gap experienced during the 2015 Kogi governorship polls.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, made the statement when he visited the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

It could be recalled that Kogi was thrown into confusion over the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the governorship election.

Audu, who was coasting to victory, died before the election was concluded, a situation that was not captured in the constitution.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara

Speaker Yakubu Dogara

“We have a Constitution Review Committee that is already in place and part of its objective is to capture such lacuna.

“We never envisaged that situation in Kogi could happen.”

He said that the committee was poised to relate with Speakers of the Houses of Assembly of all the states to brainstorm on ways to tackle the constitutional gaps.

He assured that the constitution review process embarked upon by the 8th National Assembly would not end in futility.

“It is not as if the job done by the 7th assembly is closed.

“We will take the last amendment and work together with what we are able to get now.

“it has not become a waste; in fact it has reduced the job because we will look at it critically,’’ Namdas said.

He said that the report of the national confab would play a significant role in  the constitution amendment.

According to him, “the committee is thinking of how we can get the report.

“The committee is mindful that there are good things that will come from the confab’’.

Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives has constituted a 10-man delegation to investigate the crisis in the Kogi House of Assembly which led to the removal of the Speaker, Momoh Lawal and other principal officers.

The crisis led to the removal of the speaker on Feb. 16 by five out of 20 members of the state assembly.

The setting up of the committee followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Rep. Sunday Karimi (PDP-Kogi).

Presenting the motion, Karimi called on the House to look into the case, describing the impeachment of the speaker by only five members of the assembly as unconstitutional.

Similarly, Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) condemned the act.

“It is with a heavy heart that as a leader of this house, I condemn this impeachment and I stand here unequivocal to state that the house will not tolerate this impunity,’’ Gbajabiamila said.

Rep. Moyeed Alabi (APC-Osun) said only two third majority as required by the constitution could remove the speaker.

“What is happening in Kogi State is not only illegal but unconstitutional and the National Assembly has a need to send a signal that it will not allow such,’’ Alabi said.

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