Asks senators-elect,reps-elect to stand firm against imposition of NASS leadership
*FCT court issues criminal summons against Gbajabiamila to appear on June 10
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – AS the National Assembly sets for inauguration on June 9,next week,the Coalition of United Political Parties,CUPP,has rejected the candidature of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, for speakership position.
This came an FCT High Court issued criminal summons against Gbajabiamila to appear before it in person on June 10,for alleged perjury brought against him by the Action Peoples Party,APP.
The coalition of opposition political parties also kicked against any imposition of the National Assembly leadership, asking both the senators-elect and the House of Representatives members-elect to stand firm to election their preferred member for the principal offices devoid of external influences.
Addressing the media, Tuesday,in Abuja, CUPP through its spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, explained that its opposition was hinged on the fact that Gbajabiamila was ” so badly tainted with corruption, indictments, convictions of dishonesty as perjury as candidate for speakership of the Federal House of Representatives.”
Besides,it noted that “Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution provides that members shall elect from among themselves principal officers of both chambers.”
It accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the Presidency of planning to impose the principal officers of the 9th National Assembly thus subverting the independence of the parliament.
“Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution provides that members shall elect from themselves principal officers of both chambers. What is big about this that Gov. el-Rufai,Adams Oshiomhole and the Presidency do not understand? Why carry same recklessness they have used in governance into the parliament, the last pillar holding our democracy? Why murder the independence of the parliament with the plan to impose their political alleluya boys?” He said in a prepared text read before newamen at the occasion.
According to the CUPP, “Parliamentarian must rise irrespective of party affiliation and use secret ballot to vote independent leaders who will defend the sacred values of democracy,checks and balances and not these political allelulya boys who even without being elected we heard they have taken pledge of allegiance.”
“How could President Muhammadu Buhari be demanding that Femi Gbajabiamila,a man convicted of dishonest acts be annointed and imposed to occupy as the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives,dispense the resources of that office and preside over law making in the parliament?
“What type of laws are we as Nigerians expect to see the parliament make if this anti-Nigerian action were to succeed? God forbid! Nigerians cannot continue in the one-step-forward and two-steps-backward movement.
Ugochinyere added:”President Buhari-led APC cannot be talking of anti-corruption yet be seen attempting to impose a man convicted of willful dishonesty as the sole candidate for speaker of the Federal House of Representatives as confirmed by Governor el-Rufai that the choice of Femi Gbajabiamila is the choice of President Buhari and not Asiwaju Bola Tinubu whom if it had been his choice,we would not have bothered because his antecedents are already known to Nigerians.”
He continued:”CUPP is not interested in who Parliamentarians decide to elect to lead the 9th Assembly. That is why we have not said anything Ahmed Lawan emerging as Senate President as it should be left for senators to decide whether they want a stooge as Senate President that will behave like some speakers of State Houses of Assembly who will attend events organised by the governor’s wife and serve drinks and carry canopied just to prove their loyalty or an independent Senate who will protect the letters of the law.”
“We are not saying anything about whether Ovie Omo-Agege, a man who allegedly brought in thugs into the hallowed chamber of the Senate and stole the mace should be rewarded with the Deputy Senate Presidency or not. What we are saying here is that a man who has been convicted of dishonest acts and who is constitutionally ineligible to even come near where leadership questions are asked and answered should not be rail-roaded into the speakership of the Nigerian parliament,”he further said.
Ugochinyere, who is also the National Chairman of the Action Peoples Party, said “to be sure that this political hara-kiri does not even happen by default,the opposition coalition, the CUPP using one of its affiliate members,the Action Peoples Party,has secured the nod of the court to commence criminal proceedings against Femi Gbajabiamila for the offence of perjury (giving false information under oath).
“So proudly,we announce to you today that a court in the FCT has issued criminal summons against Femi Gbajabiamila to appear in person on 10th June,2019 and the court also granted an exparte application to serve him by substituted means through the Clerk of the National Assembly and by this, Femi Gbajabiamila has been successfully served with the summons in accordance with the order of the court.
“With all the documents shown,the stage is not set for the arrainment of Femi Gbajabiamila and if he fails to appear in person on Monday,we shall be left with no options but to apply for arrest warrant to be issued against him same day,”he further said.