Speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Francis Nwifiru, has been warned to desist from actions that are capable of drifting the once peaceful State into a state of anarchy.
The lawmaker representing Ebonyi North West Constituency, Hon Victor Aleke, who handed down the warning in a press release made available to reporters, pointed out that forging the resignation letters of fellow lawmakers and declaring their seats vacant was unconstitutional.
According to Aleke, the situation was more worrisome when lawmakers who were supposed to uphold the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, were the ones abusing the law by forging the resignation letters of their fellow lawmakers and declaring their seats vacant, saying that the act was poised to plug the state into total anarchy.
“It is in the public domain that on 8 March 2022, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja sacked the Ebonyi State Speaker, Mr Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru and 16 sixteen other lawmakers, for defecting from the party on whose platform they were elected.
“Reactions to the judgement have been overwhelming. Most People found no fault with removing the lawmakers from office because it tallies with the express provisions of the constitution.
“The critical objective of this press conference is to draw attention of the general public to the abuse to the rule of law by the sacked members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.
“As lawmakers, the constitution has left no one in doubt that political parties are the most important actors in the nation’s electoral process. To start with, the constitution provides that only aspirants sponsored by political parties can be candidates in an election.
“The sacked members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly are fully aware of all these constitutional provisions, but have decided to embark on acts of forgery and contempt of law by disobeying the Justice Inyang Ekwo Judgement that sacked them from office.
“As a peaceful lawmaker, I applaud the judgement of Justice Inyang Ekwo, as this court pronouncement will bring sanity in our political system and equally strengthen our democracy. I urge all the sacked members of the state house of Assembly to please adhere strictly to the rule of law.
“I hereby inform the general public to disregard the concocted information on the media that I and two other People’s Democratic Party Ebonyi State House of Assembly members resigned our elected position, thereby declaring our seats vacant. These actions by the sacked Lawmakers are total abuse to the rule of law and contempt of court judgement which is tantamount to arrest.
“The good people of Ebonyi State and Nigerians should disregard such information as it holds no water and it cannot stand. As I urge all constituents of these lawmakers whose seats were purportedly declared vacant to remain calm and peaceful as the court pronouncement that sacked the 16 Ebonyi State House of Assembly members still stands until they get a stay of execution or get favourable judgement from the appellate court.
“For your information, as it stands now, Ebonyi State House of Assembly members are Hon Chris Usulor, Hon Victor Aleke, Hon Chidi Ejem, Hon Engr Humphrey Nwuruku, Hon Dr Oliver Osi, Hon Franca Okpo, Hon Okechukwu Ali and Hon Mrs Lilian Ngozi Eziulo.
“Presently, These are the members of the state house of Assembly until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise or fresh elections conducted within 90 days according to the federal high court judgement, delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo declarative Judgement on 8th March 2022”, Aleke concluded.