The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday cautioned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, against using the federal might at the behest of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to encourage and promote lawlessness and illegalities in Edo State in the build up to the September 19 governorship election.
The PDP warned that the position of the AGF and Justice Minster should not be misinterpreted as a federal portfolio to be deployed to emasculate a formidable political party rather than the promotion of national interest.
PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, sent to National Daily, therefore, protested that the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to provide security for the 14 un-inaugurated ‘members-elect’ of the Edo State House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant by the House leadership after missing legislative sittings for over 180 days, is a thoughtless unconstitutionality, adding that to that effect, it is null and void.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary pointed out that “nothing in sections 90, 91, 101 and 104 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cited by the Attorney General, empowers him to go to the streets of any part of our nation to assemble some clowns and declare them members-elect of any House of Assembly, without any electoral mandate.”
The PDP emphasized that the Attorney General should be aware that the controversial individuals have been absent from legislative duties for 180 days during which they abandoned their mandate and for which their seats were declared vacant in line with the rules of the legislature and the laws of the federation.
The party remarked: “It is trite in law that with their seats declared vacant by the House, they have consequently lost their memberships and respective mandates.”
PDP further noted that the Attorney General ought to have availed himself of the facts that the Edo State House of Assembly, as constitutionally constituted, had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to conduct fresh elections into the vacant seats in line with the provisions of the constitution and the Electoral Act.
The party also argued that if the AGF had bothered to get his facts correctly before issuing the unconstitutional warrant for the gestapo operation to the IGP, he would have known that the matter of the declaration of the seats of the errant individuals and the request for the conduct of fresh elections to fill the vacant seats are pending in competent Court in Edo State at the instance of his “clients” and, therefore, it is sub-justice for him to speak on it or cause an action to be taken.
The PDP accordingly decried: “Yet, Malami is painfully our nation’s federal law officer.”
The PDP further berated Malami for exercising ultra vires powers, which the party noted is beyond the jurisdiction of his office. According to the PDP: “However, we may have to remind the AGF, to go back to the Constitution and recheck if any sections warrant him to take any action whatsoever which compromise, derogate or infringe the powers donated to any Court in Nigeria apart from the powers of nolle prosequi of his office.
“Our party holds that there is no part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which enabled him to do so,” the National Publicity Secretary declared.
The PDP maintained that Malami and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) do not possess the powers of a competent court and as such, cannot, by any stroke of imagination, make any judicial declaration whatsoever on a matter that is before a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Furthermore, our party insists that there is no provision in section 90, 91, 101 and 104 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or any other provision of the constitution for that matter, empowers him to do so.
“What Nigerians expected of the AGF was for him to advise his “clients” to wait for the ruling of the court and, perhaps, prepare for their bye-elections, if they still wish to be in the Edo State House of Assembly.
“The PDP, and indeed, all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the people of Edo state, completely reject this thoughtless and partisan directive of the AGF which is directly responsible for Thursday’s attempt to topple democratic order and the Edo State House of Assembly,” PDP declared.
The PDP further postulated that it is rather unfortunate for the AGF to direct the IGP to provide security for impostors; adding: “that directive, in itself, is reckless.”
The PDP, thus, alerted that Nigerians can now see those who provided the arsenal for the failed coup against democratic order in Edo State as well as those engineering a breakdown of law and order in the state.
The PDP, accordingly, urged Nigerians to hold the Attorney General, Malami, responsible should there be any violence before, during and after the Edo State governorship election arising from the contents of his ill-advised letter.
“Our party, therefore, charges the Inspector General of Police to disregard this misguided partisan directive by the Attorney General as well as ensure that the Police is not entangled in such a partisan agenda against the people of Edo State,” the statement read in part.