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Published On: Thu, Jul 31st, 2014

Al makura: Assembly sitting in Karu illegal – Nasarawa govt

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Governor-Umaru-Tanko-Al-Makura-Nasarawa-State-House-of-AssemblyThe Nasarawa state government has described the sitting of the State House of Assembly in Karu LGC on Wednesday as illegal and unconstitutional.

Addressing journalists on the development yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, the Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to Governor Al-makura on Publicity, Abdulhamid Yakubu Kwarra said that the sitting was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and should be disregarded by all and sundry.

His words: “The attention of the government of Nasarawa state has been drawn to the sitting of the State Assembly on Wednesday 30th July, 2014 in Karu local government council of the state, which the House was said to have passed a resolution directing the Chief Judge of Nasarawa state to re-constitute the recently inaugurated panel to investigate the alleged gross misconduct leveled against Governor Tanko Al-makura, saying that the seven-man panel was constituted with people of questionable character.

According to him, the sitting of the House in Karu, as far as government is concerned, amounted to a mere congregation of concerned members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, because it is not in conformity with any democratic requirement, adding that no rule of the House permits the sitting of the House of Assembly anywhere in the state to conduct legislative affairs.

He also described the sitting as ill-motivated, illegal and of no effect whatsoever; stressing that “the supreme court has made definite declaration that House of Assembly can only conduct its legislative functions in legally designated place in the state capital (see case of Balonwu vs Obi 2007) NWLR PT1008/488” he added.

Kwarra continued “The purported resolution of the concern members of the House shows the level of legislative insanity, total disregard for the rule of law and sheer desperation on the part of the members; saying that the assembly as an institution should be an epitome of adherence to the rule of law, due process and constitutionality.

He noted that the case of Nasarawa state Assembly is a total violation of all relevant laws, as well as expressed dismay that the assembly will probate and re-probate on a matter that is before the Chief Judge of the state.

Kwarra noted that probably the house is beginning to discover the futility of their action.

The SSA maintained that Governor Al-makura has given his word as a man of integrity and believer in the rule of law to appear before the panel even though he was not served with impeachment.

According to him, “the Governor is making the sacrifice to appear before the panel in order to clear his good name and the reputation of his administration which is anchored on accountability, transparency, due process and the fear of God”.

Still on the position of government, Kwarra said that the aggrieved members of the assembly should comply with the Chief Judge of Nasarawa state as well as the provision of Section 188 Sub-Section 5 of the Constitution, stressing that, the right thing to do is for them to go to the court of law to challenge the composition of the investigation panel.

“They can’t have legislative and judicial powers at the same time” he noted.

Meanwhile, state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, has said that the state assembly lacks the power to freeze the account of the Nasarawa state government as it is being speculated.

Speaking with our reporter yesterday, Lagi, who cited a ruling of the courts describing the sitting of assembly members at locations other than the designated areas as ‘mere rascality’, explained that the Constitution only allows for the accounts of a state to be in control of the executive.

“Accounts of the state and its operation are executive functions as provided for under the 1999 Constitution” he stated.

The AG who took time to also comment on the purported sitting of 20 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the assembly in Karu, maintained that the Constitution is clear on such issues, adding that there are many decided cases on the matter.

“My real concern is actually whether they sat in Niger or Karu or anywhere at all. There is no evidence to show that they sat within the precinct of the state” Lagi said.

According to the state Attorney-General, the legislative organ of government is an institution and the lawmakers are members of that institution.

“Now, the member of the state assembly does not constitute a legislature. A legislature has its rules, premises and how it works. You are saying the Governor of Nasarawa state can move to Niger and establish Nasarawa state there, it does not work” he explained.

 

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