Senator faults colleagues’ decision on election sequence
Seeks Support For Buhari’s Re-Election
Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Abu Ibrahim has faulted the decision of the Senate to alter the sequence of the 2019 general election, describing the development as illegal. Addressing State House Correspondents after he performed the Juma’at prayer at the Aso Rock, he said the amendment was tantamount to an interference with the responsibilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Although he described the development as ‘democracy in action,’ Ibrahim said such a decision falls within INEC’s purview. His words: “Those of us who are old in this chamber know that it was absolutely illegal. If you look at Section 72 of the constitution, it is clear that INEC is mandated to fix date and it has already done that nobody can change it.
“There was a legal case in 2003 during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration when the National Assembly passed a law to hold all elections in one day. “That matter went to court because Obasanjo refused to sign it, they over ruled his veto by two-third, then INEC went to court.“The court in its jurisdiction declared that nobody can interfere with INEC. That was upheld by court of appeal and we didn’t go to the Supreme Court, so it ended there.
“Therefore, that judgment is still subsisting that nobody can interfere with the functions of INEC in terms of fixing dates of elections.” Ibrahim further argued that apart from the attendant financial implications in the change of sequence, the alteration would expose some of the lawmakers to danger.
“It is too costly. You cannot afford the elections. It will even expose some of our colleagues to danger. If you have a senator alone to contest the election, he must pay his agents, he must pay for security, he must pay for everything.”
On the controversy over the establishment of State Police, which has received the Presidency’s support, he said the National Assembly was opposed to the creation of state police because of the way state governors handle council elections in the country.
He added that the issue of state police had been tried before the independence but the Willinks Commission of 1954 stopped it as a result of the fears of the minorities during the regional government.
According to him, “I have my reasons. I am Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs and I have made a lot of research on the issue of state police and regional police.
Answering questions on President Buhari’s second term bid, especially the statement credited to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, that the president will be re-elected, Ibrahim claimed that majority of the senators wanted the President to be re-elected and would therefore, support him.
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