By Frederick Peters, KADUNA.
The Concerned citizens from Lere Federal constituency of Kaduna state have immediately called on the Leadership of the Federal House of Representatives,led by Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila,to reinstate,Hon Suleiman Lere of the APC as their duly elected representative.
The group noted with dismay several friutless efforts to make the house leadership follow the path of justice by honouring a subsisting court judgment in favour of their member,also frowned at the adamant disposition of the speaker in this regard.
The group made this called on Monday at the NUJ press centre,Kaduna, during a press conference, where the group further warned to occupy the National Assembly after a 14 days ultimatum,to drive home their demands among which is a written apology by the speaker.
According to the group the PDP member occupying the seat is doing so illegally after the court upheld the election of APC candidate,wondering why the speaker and National assembly is still foot dragging, saying
” Up to the time of this press briefing, the orders of the Honourable
Court of Appeal has not been complied with nor has it „ been executed by the Rt. Honourable Speaker, Federal House of Representatives Mr. Femi Bajabiamila or the Clerk to the National Assembly nor the Clerk to the House of Representatives. This is not only absurd, but peculiarly offensive to the provision of Section 75 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
” Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere and his Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have made concerted efforts to be re-instated to his legitimate seat as the member representing Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State so as to resume his official duties at the House of Representatives, but to no avail up till date.”
According to him” Since the ruling of the Court of Appeal delivered on 2nd day of October 2020, a period of over 40 days, Lere Federal constituency has not been legally represented at the Federal House of Representatives thereby putting the good people of the Constituency at a grave disadvantage.
” All members of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly are allowed to carry out their legitimate duties, and are being paid their salaries, allowances and other benefits relating to their seats since their inauguration on 11th of June 2019. Whereas Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere was not allowed so, and has not been paid any salary, allowances and/or other benefits from the end of November 2019 till date, a period of about thirteen (13) months.
He further noted ” It is the responsibility of all citizens to ensure that justice delivery in Nigeria is not hampered in anyway and Court Judgments must be enforced. By the provision of section 287 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) the decisions of the Court of Appeal shall be enforced in any part of Nigeria by all authorities and persons and by Courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Court of Appeal.
Maintaining that “The Court of Appeal being the final Court on post-election matters relating to the National Assembly seats, having made an order that Engr.
Suleiman Aliyu Lere‟s earlier certificate be recognized and given effect to, and the Independent National Electoral Commission having fully complied with the orders, the House of Representatives, and the Speaker in particular, are duty bound to ensure unpretentious and expeditious compliance.
The group said her position is ” That WE willingly elected APC and its candidate Hon. (Engr.) Suleiman Aliyu Lere as member representing Lere Federal constituency in 2019;
” That the judiciary represented by the Apex Court, that is the Supreme Court of Nigeria, affirmed and endorsed the decision of the good people of Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State;
” That as at today, the only legally recognized member, representing Lere Federal Constituency who won the general election with a landslide victory and has a valid Certificate of Return from INEC to us is Hon. (Engr.) Suleiman Aliyu Lere.
” That till date, in the entire National Assembly and in particular the House of Representatives, there ¡s only one office known and referred to as the office of the Honourable Member Lere Federal Constituency, which cannot be shared by two representatives.
” That Muhammed Rabi‟u Lawal, of the PDP who was vehemently rejected by the Constituents at the polls, with no valid Certificate of Return and no Judgment or order, of the court in his favour, is being held by the Rt. Honourable Speaker and imposed on us, the good and peace loving people of Lere Federal Constituency against our wish and without our consent or approval”it added
The group further demanded saying, ” We collectively and unanimously demand from the Hon. Speaker the following;
” The immediate and Unconditional re-instatement of our elected representative (Hon. Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere) back to his office by virtue of the mandate of the people, judgment and order of the court and valid certificate of return already issued to him and served on the Rt. Hon. Speaker.
” A written apology from the Speaker to the entire people of Lere Federal Constituency who are law abiding citizens, failure of which, the members of the Lere Federal Constituency i.e 64,442 who voted APC and Hon. Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere would occupy their legitimate office in the National Assembly” the group reiterated