Constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome has called on Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, to resign for peace to reign in the legislature.
Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said this on Thursday, while commenting on the fracas at the national assembly, which led to the shut down of the complex by Senate President David Mark.
The House of Representatives had on Thursday reconvened after sitting was adjourned until December 3 by Tambuwal last month. However, the need to discuss President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of the State of Emergency in the three North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe necessitated a reconvening.
According to Ozekhome, the undercurrent of the entire episode was that some lawmakers must have felt that the reconvening of the House would lead to Tambuwal’s impeachment by his opponents, as his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) put his seat at risk. The Peoples Democratic Party holds the majority seat in the House, and constitutionally, the speaker should come from the PDP.
“My advice is that Tambuwal should honourably and voluntarily resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives in order for peace to reign in the National Assembly.
“Having defected from the political party on which platform he got to the National Assembly and became the Speaker, he should stop his present grandstanding because he cannot have his cake and eat it.
“Whether the courts have declared his seat vacant or not, whether he has been impeached or not, and whether it is constitutional for him to do so or not, he owes a moral obligation to resign now.
Ozekhome said that the Senate President did the right thing by suspending plenary till Tuesday next week so that the tension would calm down.
“The Senate President, by virtue of Section 53 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution, is the Chairman of the National Assembly and so is empowered to regulate the legislature which is bicameral.’’
He described as shameful the action of the lawmakers who climbed the fence to get into the premises of the National Assembly complex.