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Published On: Wed, Aug 27th, 2014

Nasarawa: Stakeholders seek fair hearing for suspended lawmaker

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From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia

Concerned stakeholders from Awe local government area of Nasarawa state are demanding for hearing over what they described as unconstitutional, the recent suspension of Umar Tanko Tunga (APC, Awe North) by the state assembly.

In a press conference held yesterday at the NUJ press centre, Makurdi road Lafia, leader of the stakeholders’ forum, Sheikh Is’hak Galadima, described the suspension of Tunga as unconstitutional, saying the lawmaker was not accorded fair hearing by the assembly before he was suspended.

According to Galadima, their major concern is the issue of fair hearing which was grossly violated as part of the lawmaker’s fundamental human rights as well as that of the members of his constituency.

“We are not in any way encouraging indiscipline or any undemocratic act or even challenging the powers of the House to suspend any member but the desirability or otherwise of the action is what we want to put across” he said.

Peoples Daily recalls that Tunga was suspended for six months by the Nasarawa assembly following the role he played when women supporters thronged the assembly complex on the 14th July, 2014, to protest further moves by the lawmakers to impeach Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura.

Galadima said that as members of Tunga’s constituency, it is their sole duty to defend their rights by registering their protest over the unconstitutional actions of the legislators while also ensuring that all organs of government operate within the ambit of the law.

He maintained that though it is never their intention to meddle into the official matters of the House but that where actions of the House temper with their fundamental rights, they have every constitutional rights to voice out their opinion in accordance with approved laid down procedures.

The forum leader noted that regarding key elements of fair hearing which must be observed to ensure the validity of any disciplinary action, the person that is alleged to have committed an offence must be given adequate opportunity to defend himself, for which he said the assembly failed to do before suspending Tunga.

 

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