From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A United Nations Human rights and election monitoring group, People’s Right to Life Development Foundation (PERLDEF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative proceeding involving contribution of Senator Bassey Akpan.
Senator Akpan, represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial Zone before he was sacked by a Federal High Court, on February 27, 2017.
In his place, the court declared Bassey Etim as the validly elected candidate for the senatorial seat.
Estim was accordingly, ordered to be sworn in as the authentic Senator for the zone.
However, since the court order was made, the group said the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has refused to swear in Etim, the Senator-elect.
In a petition to President Buhari, dated October 17, 2017 and made available to our reporter, the group wondered why a sacked Senator would continue to sit and take part in senate’s legislative process, even when his Certificate of Return had been withdrawn.
The petition was signed by Ifot Nathaniel, National Chairman; Ali Abacha, Secretary; and Chief Oni Emmanuel, Zonal Coordinator South-West.
The group complained to Buhari that “Despite, his sack, Bassey Akpan is still attending senate proceedings, thereby invalidating such proceeding and making them null and void.
“Your Excellency, such invalid proceedings as bills or resolutions for assent or implementation negate the principle of due process and impaired the constitutional right of Mr. President on assent” the group stated.
“In view of the threat that the violation may cause to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and Senate Standing Rule, we hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative process involving contribution of the erstwhile senator since March 6, 2017 as one cannot build something on nothing” the group wrote.
More so, PERLDEF urged President Buhari to order for the investigation and arrest of Akpan for illegally participating in the senate proceedings without Certificate of Return.
“Rather than execute the judgement delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country, National Assembly continues to pay salary to Akpan. This is corruption and abuse of rule of law” the group insisted. (The Sun)