An Abuja based lawyer Realwan Okpanachi, says rejection of Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as President of the Senate and Speaker of House Representatives, by some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers, violated the constitution.
The lawyer pointed out that no APC lawmaker had the right to disobey the party’s directive on its choice of who should be the president of the senate or speaker of the House of Representatives.
Okpanachi made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the party’s directive that APC members should vote for Lawan and Gbajabiamila was in line with the Sections 65 (2) (b),67 (3) (g) and 222 (c) (d) of the constitution.
Substantiating his claim, the lawyer quoted Section 65 (2)(b), which states “he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that party.’’
He also quoted other relevant sections of the constitution and sub-sections to buttress his points.
He said the constitution recognised every political party’s constitution and its binding effect on members.
“All elected members of the APC subscribed to the party’s constitution and ideals, which clearly emphasised party’s supremacy,’’ he said.
According to Okpanachi, the APC’s directive to its elected members to vote for a particular senator-elect and Rep.member-elect is not only conventional but constitutional.
He maintained that a violation of same by any member should be severely sanctioned either by expulsion in order to send a clear signal to others.
The legal practitioner said it was pertinent that the legislators must at all times belong to a political party unlike the executive.
“Consequently, they cannot afford to disobey the party like the executive without huge consequences,’’ Okpanachi said. (NAN)