Reps inauguration: How sacked member was ‘smuggled into Green Chambers’ – Abia Group
A rights Advocacy Group, the Abba Fourth Force (Abba4thForce) has condemned what it called the admission of a non-member into the Green Chambers of House of Representatives to participate in the election process of leaders of the 9th Assembly.
The group which addressed newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital maintained that two court orders from the Federal High Court (FHC/OW/CS/25/2019) and the Appeal Court (CA/OW/204M/2019) had sacked Hon. Ugonna Ozuruigbo of the APC and had ordered that a Certificate of Return be presented to Hon. Kingsley Echendu of the PDP in his place, as the duly elected member representing Nkwerre/Isu/Nwangele/Njaba federal constituency at the House of Representatives.
The leader of the group, Njoku MacDonald Obinna expressed shock that in spite of the overwhelming judicial pronouncements on the Nkwerre/Isu/Nwangele/Njaba federal constituency seat, the management of the Green Chambers at the time, failed to do the needful.
He said this resulted into allowing the sacked Ozuruigbo into the Assembly for the inauguration of the House of Representatives.
He said: “For everyone who followed proceedings during the House of Representative’s inauguration, it was obvious that Hon. Ugonna Ozuruigbo name was missing from the roll call of Imo legislators. If not for the fact that he was seen wielding an oath of allegiance certificate, we would have ignored him because he was not listed in the roll call of members to be inaugurated.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Assembly had all been served copies of rulings and we believed they had done the needful, so it was a rape of justice to have allowed Ozuruigbo to be smuggled into the Green Chambers in spite of the orders of court.”
He called on INEC to hasten the process and immediately present a Certificate of Return to the validly elected Hon. Kingsley Echendu in line with the order of courts.
Njoku stressed: “As a group, we frown at this development and as a people, the Nkwerre/Isu/Nwangele/Njaba federal constituency feels exploited and deprived of their choice of representative as duly expressed through the ballots.
“Nevertheless, we understand the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to be a lawyer of repute who would not be found promoting illegality; we also appreciate the chaotic nature of the proceedings that may have given room to the oversight that led to Ozuruigbo appearing in the chambers. It is our expectation that forthwith, such lacuna would be plugged by the new leadership of the House.”
He called on members of the Nkwerre/Isu/Nwangele/Njaba federal constituency to discountenance such unethical pranks by failed politicians as justice will soon be served.