The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday advised members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) PDP to demand an emergency session of the House in other to resolve the political crisis rocking the Benue state House of Assembly.
Apparently reacting to complaints by the PDP lawmakers, Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in a statement cautioned his colleagues in the opposition not to drag President Muhammadu Buhari into the Benue crisis.
The PDP caucus had on Monday condemned the action of the police in the state, for allegedly supporting eight members of the Benue House of Assembly who, according to the lawmakers have no legal authority to serve any impeachment notice on the governor of Benue state.
But Gbajabiamila in the statement, noted that, while there is no justification for the action of 8 lawmakers who are trying to impeach Governor Samuel Ortom, activities of an independent House of Assembly should not be blamed on Mr. President.
“Whilst we agree that the purported impeachment of the Benue State Speaker by 8 members cannot pass the smell test under the constitution, we find it strange and hyperbolic that the PDP caucus in the House in a knee jerk reaction will try to tie the President to same. In tandem with our party, PDP has been screaming restructuring and federalism to high heavens and one wonders why the same party will now blame the activities of an independent state assembly on Mr President,” the statement reads.
While responding to the alleged complicity of the Nigerian Police Force in the impeachment saga, Gbajabiamila advised his colleagues in the opposition to seek an emergency session of the House to probe the allegations.
“As for the police the matter is serious enough and one would expect the PDP members to immediately push for the reconvening of the House so as to probe the exact role played by the police. In legislative work there are procedures to be followed,” he stated.
He however noted that the PDP members do not have capacity to stop the House from reconvening as he insisted that the APC has the numbers to conduct legislative business as required by the law.
The statement reads further ; “We believe it is precipitous and not a proper understanding of the law and legislative procedure to say the PDP would stop the reconvening of the House and passage of the virement with their numbers as this requires only a simple majority. Something the APC has in abundance in the House. It is more befuddling that there seems to be more misunderstanding of the required number to form a quorum. A quorum is 1/3rd of members again a number our party has in abundance.
“Finally as legislators we believe in the constitutionally enshrined separation of powers and as such rather than look to the President the PDP caucus should challenge the matter in court. We are sure it will be a slam dunk based on the prima facie facts before us. They will be surprised that some members of our caucus may join them in this legal pursuit in the sustenance of democracy. That is assuming as members of the House of Representatives we have locus standi. Which we believe we do. The partisan route is not the way to go.”
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