Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Crisis is looming in the Kogi State House of Assembly following the declaration of the seat of the former Speaker, Hon. Imam Umar, vacant for dumping the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Social Democratic Party (SDP).
At yesterday’s sitting, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Matthew Kolawole read a letter sent to the lawmakers by the state Chairman of APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, asking the House to declare Umar’s seat vacant since he has defected from the APC.
A member representing Ajaokuta State Constituency, Hon. Abdullahi Bello Balogun, moved a motion calling for the sacking of the former speaker since he was no longer in APC.
The motion was seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader, Ahmed Muhammed (APC Ankpa I), who noted that the motion was timely.
According to him, “there is no crisis in APC. The last time we defected to the ruling party, the PDP was in crisis.”
He added that the official vehicle given to the former speaker by the state government should be withdrawn.
When motion was put on the floor for deliberations, the speaker of the House and Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal of the PDP disagreed on the letter written by the APC chairman and the motion moved by the majority leader.
“I disagree with the APC and this motion to declare the seat of our colleague vacant. We are all aware that, at the national level, there is Reformed APC which shows that there is crisis in the ruling party. Only the court of law can declare the seat of any member vacant. Mr. speaker, you are a beneficiary of this defection. So, why was your seat not declared vacant?” Lawal queried.
He also cited section 109 subsection (1G) of the 1999 constitution to back his claim.
A member representing APC, Momoh Rabiu, in his remark, reminded his colleagues that, they are lawmakers and not law breakers.
Also speaking, an APC member representing Olamaboro, Hon. Linus Eneche urged his colleagues to have the fear of God.
Other lawmakers who distanced themselves from the motion are Oluwatoyin Lawal of PDP Yagba West, Zakari Osewu of APC, and Obaro Pedro.
Those who supported the motion are Ododo Moses APC, Abdulkareem Kekere of APC, Lawi Ahmed of APC, Adoke Muktar of APC, John Aba of APC, Jimoh Omiata of APC.
In his remark, the Speaker of the House, who noted that he was on the side of the law on the matter, directed the Clerk to convene the resolution of the House to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).