The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) say Nigerians should hold the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, responsible for any violence before, during and after the Edo state governorship election.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja Saturday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the directive by Malami to IGP to provide security for certain individuals parading themselves as members-elect of the Edo state House of Assembly, is a thoughtless unconstitutionality, and to that effect, null and void.
Ologbodiyan said “Perhaps, the Attorney General should be made aware that the said individuals have been absent for 180 days during which they abandoned their mandate and for which their seats were declared vacant in line with the rules of the legislature and the laws of the federation.
“It is trite in law that with their seats declared vacant by the House, they have consequently lost their memberships and respective mandates, he added.
PDP National Publicity Secretary continued“Furthermore, the Attorney General ought to have availed himself of the facts that the Edo State House of Assembly, as constitutionally constituted, had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to conduct fresh elections into the vacant seats in line with the provisions of our constitution and the Electoral Act.
“If the AGF had bothered to get his facts correctly before issuing the unconstitutional warrant for the gestapo operation to the IGP, he would have known that the matter of the declaration of the seats of the errant individuals and the request for the conduct of fresh elections to fill the vacant seats are pending in competent Court in Edo State at the instance of his ‘clients’ and therefore it is sub-justice for him to speak on it or cause an action to be taken.
“Yet, Malami is painfully our nation’s federal law officer.
“However, we may have to remind the AGF, to go back to the Constitution and recheck if any sections warrant him to take any action whatsoever which compromise, derogate or infringe the powers donated to any Court in Nigeria apart from the powers of nolle pro seque of his office.
“Our party holds that there is no part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which enabled him to do so,” the party said.
“What Nigerians expected of the AGF was for him to advise his ‘clients’ to wait for the ruling of the court and, perhaps, prepare for their bye-elections, if they still wish to be in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“The PDP, and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo state, completely reject this thoughtless and partisan directive of the AGF which is directly responsible for Thursday’s attempt to topple democratic order and the Edo state House of Assembly”.
The PDP said: “Nigerians can now see those who provided the arsenal for the failed coup against democratic order in Edo state as well as those engineering a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“Our party therefore charges the Inspector General of Police to disregard this misguided partisan directive by the Attorney General as well as ensure that the Police is not entangled in such a partisan agenda against the people of Edo state.”