ABUJA- A civil society organisation,Save Nigerian Citizens Development and Empowerment Initiatives, has appealed to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to declare the seat of convicted former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzo Kalu vacant.
The group said doing so would enable the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,to conduct credible election to fill the position with a view to given Abia North constituents effective representation in the National Assembly.
Speaking at a media conference,Tuesday,in Abuja, president of the group,Amb. Chikoje Okoro ,regretted that the conviction of Kali had left the people of Abia North without a voice in the upper legislative chamber .
Reading the group’s prepared statement on behalf of the group,Mr Okoro said the non representation of Abia North in the Senate was unfair to the people, state and the spirit of the constitution.
“While we concede of the fact that convicted former governor has the constitutional right to appeal such judgement, we urge the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan to declare the seat of Abia North in the Senate vacant,”he said.
According to him,”The people of Abia North have remained without a voice in the 9th Senate for over ten months now and we believe that this is unfair to our people and the state.”
“We also call on INEC to consider a new date for fresh election for Abia North Senatorial à zone. We need a voice as a people in the Senate, and we urge Chief Kalu to honourably resign his job to pave way for a rerun.
“Having been convicted by a competent court of jurisdiction, the former governor lack the moral right to still lay claim to that seat,” he added.
The group also commended president Muhammadu Buhari, EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu and the judiciary for the giant strides in the fight against corruption.
The group while calling on the anti- graft agency to beam its searchlights on the implementation of the much controversial constituency projects across the country, it tasked the EFCC and the judiciary to step up its constitutional duties in this regard.
“Our preliminary investigation as an organization show that the so called constituency projects have remain elderado for money making for some lawmakers and their cohorts.
“Several billions of narrative have been budgeted for constituency projects over the years with little or nothing to show for it some state. The governors, the state and federal lawmakers should be made to account for the huge funds allocated for this constituency projects,” it added.
Recall that the former governor was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by a Federal High Court on December 5, 2019.
The conviction followed a N7.65bn corruption charges leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC.