Chris Steven, Abuja
A United Nations Human rights and election monitoring group, People’s Right to Life Development Foundation (PERLDEF) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative proceeding involving contribution of sacked Senator Bassey Akpan.
Akpan, hitherto represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial Zone before he was sacked by a Federal High Court, on February 27, 2017.
Consequently, the court judgement declared one Bassey Etim as validly elected, and therefore ordered that he should be sworn in as the authentic Senator for the zone.
But since the court order was made, the group said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has refused to swear in Etim, the Senator-elect.
In a petition dated October 17, 2017, addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the group wondered why a sacked Senator would continue to sit and take part in senate’s legislative process, even when his Certificate of Return had been withdrawn.
The petition was endorsed by Comrade Ifot Nathaniel, National Chairman; Comrade Ali Abacha, Secretary; and Chief Oni Emmanuel, Zonal Coordinator South-West.
The group complained to Buhari that “Despite, his sack, Bassey Akpan is still attending senate proceedings, thereby invalidating such proceeding and making them null and void.
“Your Excellency, such invalid proceedings as bills or resolutions for assent or implementation negate the principle of due process and impaired the constitutional right of Mr. President on assent” the group stated.
“In view of the threat that the violation may cause to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and Senate Standing Rule, we hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative process involving contribution of the erstwhile senator since March 6, 2017 as one cannot build something on nothing” the group wrote.
More so, PERLDEF urged President Buhari to order for the investigation and arrest of Akpan for illegally participating in the senate proceedings without Certificate of Return.
“Rather than execute the judgement delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country, National Assembly continues to pay salary to Akpan.
This is corruption and abuse of rule of law,” the group insisted.