Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called on the National Assembly (NASS) particularly the Senate to respect the court order and swear in the Akwa Ibom North East Senator Elect,n Bassey Etim.
According to a press statement issued by the forum and signed by it’s National President Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the forum lamented what it referred to as “the glaring reluctance of Senate President Bukola Saraki to respect a Federal High Court order, to the effect that Senator-elect Bassey Etim be sworn in immediately as the authentic Senator representing Akwa-Ibom North East.
“It is unacceptable for the upper chamber of the National Assembly as an institution of public service and symbol of the rule of law, to employ delay tactics in obeying the order of a competent court of jurisdiction.
“We have reason to suspect that by refusing to swear-in Senator-elect Bassey Etim for an unfathomable number of months is a ploy to thwart the court order and tamper with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“We are cautioing the Senate leadership to avoid playing to the gallery by doing what is legally and constitutionally appropriate, which is the immediate swearing-in of the bona-fide owner of the Akwa-Ibom Northeast seat at the Senate. The next appropriate step is to direct the man removed by the competent court, Mr. Albert Akpan to return all the salaries and associated benefits he got so far, to the bona-fide owner of the seat – Mr. Etim as provided by the law.
“We find the prolonged drama created around the swearing-in by the Senate leadership as a smear on decorum, contemptuous, a breach of the nation’s constitution and a ridicule of the highest law-making arm of the Nigerian government.
“It worrisome that the Senate has chosen to be pretentious about fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has already complied with the court ruling by issuing fresh certificate of return to Mr. Etim Bassey.
“There is no justification whatsoever for Senator Bukola Saraki to delay action in doing the needful. We therefore task the upper chamber to be alive to its responsibility by respecting the verdict of a competent court of jurisdiction. No amount of delay or artificial tinkering would subvert the course of justice.
“It is our fervent hope that this would be the last time the Senate will ridicule our courts of law and our constitution for political convenience. In this era of change, the Senate and indeed its leadership should set a good example for a democratic system in which the judicial arm plays pivotal role in governance.
“Consequently, we are hereby giving the Senate Two Weeks ultimatum to swear-in Mr. Etim Bassey as Senator representing Akwa-Ibom Northeast senatorial zone with immediate effect. If the Senate fails to do the needful, based on our ultimatum, we will not hesitate to mobilize Nigerians to occupy the National Assembly and jointly reject this impunity.
“We have had enough of this brazen disrespect for the laws of the land. We have warned, whoever has ear, let him hear.”