Bauchi State Govt harassing our members with security officials – APC alleges, petitions NBA
The Bauchi State Government and the opposition All Progressives Congress have been trading words since the parallel inauguration of the State House of Assembly, which led to the emergence of two separate Speakers and their deputies.
The APC, in a media statement by the State Secretary of the party, Alhaji Bako Hussaini described the lawmakers’ actions as “unethical and unprofessional conduct”.
He stated that the Clerk of the Assembly as well as the security agents on duty were complacent and called on the anti graft agencies to investigate their conduct.
Hussaini stated that the party had written a petition against the Clerk of the House to the disciplinary committee of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) over “his act of gross misconduct and scornful approach to Nigerian Constitution and laws of Bauchi state”.
According to him: “We have seen a new leaf in the history of legislative business in Nigeria where through the cover of the night, the so called Clerk of the assembly conducted a charade and packaged fraudulent session as early as 6 am with only eleven out of 31 members in attendance”.
“Our members-elect being law abiding, expected that the Clerk who claimed to be a Lawyer, will ensure due process and fairness in handling the affairs of the House”.
The APC scribe alleged that the security outfits they sought protection from, were used by the” PDP government” to teargas and forcefully remove “our members” out of the assembly complex and called on the APC members to be resolute and maintain their loyalty to the party, while disloyal members will soon meet their waterloo.
While speaking with newsmen in a reaction in Bauchi, the Spokesperson of Governor Bala Mohammed, Dr. Ladan Salihu, denied the involvement of the state government.
He said that the governor is a democrat and a parliamentarian who knows the rules, “so, there is no handiwork of government in what happened” explaining that he decided to speak on the matter because the Assembly had adjourned sitting and they have not yet appointed anyone as Spokesperson.
“And keeping quiet will be suicidal. We have to come out and speak because it is our own government that has the constituted authorities of the executive which I belong to, the legislature and the judiciary which is also an aspect of government and government does not operate in a vacuum. I had to speak because it is in the overall stability of government.”
Ladan said that the election of the Speaker was conducted, pronounced and he did his acceptance speech adding that thereafter, the same process was followed for the deputy Speaker.
“All these happened inside the main Chambers of the Bauchi state House of Assembly, all these happened in the public view of those who witnessed this occasion. And there were 13 Members who were sworn in contrary to what was paraded in the media not 11. The quorum that was needed to elect a Speaker out of 31 Members of the Assembly was met.
“This Speaker was legitimately elected by a duly constituted State Assembly. So, anybody who says there are two Assemblies in Bauchi is just something conjured up in the inner recesses of his own imagination. As far as we are concerned in Bauchi State, there is only one Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, who was duly elected and recognized by all the parties and he is a Member of the APC.”
He said that “this is the most authentic election ever” pointing out that the other Members chose to stay away for whatever reason they did, ” later, they came and congregated outside the Assembly and stood before a model of a Mace, “and what do you have, you had an elected Member presiding as the Clerk who presided over the so called oath.”
According to him: “What Hon. Kawuwa Damina and his group did, was to downgrade their political esteem from political heavyweights to political paper tigers. They downgraded the esteem of their own political being from being Members of the inner Chambers of the Assembly to Members of a garden outside premises of the Assembly.
“There has never been any Assembly that sat in a garden under the shadow of a model of a Mace without a Clerk, without other supporting staff, without a Mace, without other paraphernalia and regalia of the Assembly. They just made Bauchi state to look like just like a banana state.” He said.
Meanwhile, a High Court in the State has granted an injunction restraining one of the Speakers, Kawuwa Damina and his Deputy, Tukur Ibrahim from parading themselves as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.
Recall that the crisis in the State Assembly began when 13 out of the 31 elected Members, made up of 8 from the Peoples Democratic Party, 4 from the All Progressives Congress and one from the New Nigeria People’s Party, outsmarted the remaining 18 APC Members and elected Abubakar Suleiman and Danlami Kawule as Speaker and deputy respectively.
Abubakar Suleiman, Danlami Kawule elected Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively and the 11 others had, through their Counsels, Ben Ogbubuchi, Mukhtar Usman and O. P Egbe-Okpenge, approached the High Court seeking an order restraining Kawuwa Damina, Tukur Ibrahim from parading themselves as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly respectively, while the remaining 16 Members were joined in the suit as defendants/respondents.
The High Court sitting presided over by Justice A. Kafin Madaki on Friday, 21st June ruled that, “An order of interim Injunction is hereby made restraining the 3rd and 4th defendants/respondents (Kawuwa Damina and Tukur Ibrahim) from holding themselves out and/or parading themselves, purporting to act in whatever manner as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly respectively pending the determination of the motion on notice”.
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