Chief Godson Udobot was 85 years old man blessed with several grandchildren. One of them, Imo, lived with him at his Uyo residence. It was a bright Sunday morning Chief was going to church. He noticed his grandson’s door was closed and he decided not to worry him.
After about 8 hours in church Chief returned home to notice the door still closed. He then recalled that earlier in the morning he had noticed a young girl entered Imo’s room before the door was closed. As he was coming back from Church he passed the girl on the road. He could recall because she was exceptionally fair. But just as he was entering the house again he saw another one, this time a dark one entered the same room before it was closed. He therefore decided to knock on his grandson’s door. The young man opened and Chief told him:
“Imo why don’t you ask your friends or even your brothers to show you how to do this thing. The fact that you do something and enjoyed it doesn’t mean you maybe doing it the right way. You are blundering backward too early in life”.
The old man walked away after these words leaving the grandson dumbfounded.
APC in 2015 campaigned with the slogan of change. Nigerians voted APC believing it will be a correctional regime. Expectations was high. Education, health, rule of law, security, economy, corruption etc. But events unfolding in various parts of the country since inception of this regime seem to portray this party as a treatment worse than the ailment.
Akwa Ibom APC on its part has embarked on the dangerous journey of mocking democracy relying on the fact that its party control government at the center and therefore controlled the security services. Not only have they promised consistently to use federal might to win 2019 elections at all cost, a few days ago they seemed to have taken that promise to a lawless peak. They must be enjoying themselves as can be seen from their various posts on social media but someone should tell them that this is not how it is done.
Three APC members broke into the state House of Assembly chambers and carried out what could have been dismissed as political comic relief. The gross illegality would have been excused by the laughter created by the purported impeachment of the speaker. But the fact that their party has risen in support shows the gross mistake Nigerians made about APC in 2015. If not checked the country may slip quickly into anarchy.
Five members of PDP law makers in a 26 House Members defected to APC. They are law-makers therefore they know the law very well. That was why they knew that their actions went contrary to section 109 of the constitution as amended. Specifically that there is no solace for them under subsection (1)(g) of that section 109. Sensing that they have broken the law, they ran back to the same law to protect them by approaching the court.
Since the law doesn’t contradict itself, the court declared their seats vacant and accordingly ordered the Hon Speaker of the house to execute the judgements. And this was done in line with the law.
In the meantime the affected parties approached the relevant courts for APPEAL and STAY OF EXECUTION.
I am not a lawyer but like most Nigerians I am reasonable enough to know that the law is not the source but the consequences of the rights, desire, culture and experience of the people. That is why I don’t need to be a lawyer to know that STAY of EXECUTION is sought by the losing party in order to maintain the status quo obtaining at the time of the application until the appeal pending is determined.
It is also common sense that where the status quo obtaining at the moment has changed (in this case order has been executed) from what it was when the application was instituted for instance as in this case, if there is nothing as it were, no order to be restrained can be issued by the order of stay of execution since it will be lifeless and academic.
This was aptly demonstrated by the Supreme Court in April 2006 in the case between Olori Motors and Company Ltd and others Vs Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
#5 law makers defected from their party to another party
#they understand that they have broken the law
#they know their seats will become vacant as a result
#they approached the courts to help them break the law
#the court rather upheld the law
#the house executed the court judgement and declared their seats vacant
#In the eyes of the law therefore they remain former house members
#they approached the court for stay of execution
Let’s assume they finally secured a stay of execution. By the operation of the law it is lifeless because the court order was duly executed. However, they still have window of appeal. If successful then the executed order will be reversed. That is if the appeal succeeds.
How someone with this legal baggage found his way to the chambers of the state house to purportedly seat to claim to have voted to impeach the speaker, elected one of them speaker and suspending other lawmakers is better explained by the police.
However, the Speaker of AKHA known by law remains Rt Hon Onofiok Luke.
One should have even dismissed the whole actions of these former House members as the comic relief of the year if we assumed that they are unaware of the provisions of section 99 of the 1999 constitution as amended which states that:
“Any person who sits or votes in a House of Assembly of a State knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so commits an offence and is liable on conviction to such punishment as shall be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly”
However, the fact that the state APC back this illegality using the security services, indicated the disdain which the party has for the rule of law as well as the intelligence and feelings of ordinary Akwa Ibomites. A party that is going for election in a few months time will fear the backlash from the general public that may arise from this illegality. But because they have persistently vowed that elections will not count but “federal might”, it didn’t matter to them any public opinions. It also say a lot about the attitudes and attributes of APC leaders in Akwa Ibom desperate to clinch power at all cost.
The choice of ordinary Nigerians has always been very clear: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret or open police. Akwa Ibom people have enjoyed relative peace in the last three years. Any attempt to make Akwa Ibom another Benue State because of the ambitions of a few individuals must be rejected.
As Mr. President claimed he was unaware of the lawlessness which was perpetrated by his party in Benue aided by the police, this writer assumes he is unaware of the Akwa Ibom case. This is therefore a call on him to provide leadership to end this act of lawlessness in Akwa Ibom as Nigerians are beginning to ask themselves if they are ready for backward blunder into complete anarchy and chaos.
Nigerians on their part should come out with strong condemnation of this despicable desperation for power and lawlessness by a few individuals hiding under their party. No one should forget how Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and indeed other volatile places in the world started their journey.
James Abang R828
Atteh-Okiuso Village, Urueoffong/Oruko LGA