A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Paul Ananaba, has advised members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the National Assembly against using force to remove Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, from office.
The senior lawyer called for a judicial intervention to determine the fate of the Saraki and Dogara, on whether they should continue in their offices as members of the minority Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He also stated that asking for the presiding officers’ resignation or plotting their impeachment from outside the National Assembly would not lead to a solution.
He stated that under current system of government practiced in the country and with the provisions of the 1999 constitution, only senators and House members were legally empowered to remove their presiding officers.
Ananaba, who spoke ahead of Tuesday’s resumption of the National Assembly, argued that “outsiders” calling for the resignation or impeachment of a presiding officer were merely expressing personal opinions.
“The issue of resignation is left to an individual to decide whether he wants to resign or not. Impeachment has a procedure in the constitution. So, nobody should put pressure on them since they are not infants. Saraki and Dogara are knowledgeable enough to know what impeachment or resignation means,” the senior lawyer was quoted by Punch as saying.
“If anyone feels that they should resign and they have not resigned, the person should head to court, not to put them under pressure. There is no provision of law requiring them to resign or leave their seats because they left one party for another.
“In any case, there are crises in the political parties, which in themselves are sufficient grounds for defection.
“What I will say is that it lies with the members of the National Assembly to decide on their own to take any actions against their presiding officers, not outsiders.
“The Chairman of the APC (Adams Oshiomhole) is not a member of the National Assembly. All he says is his mere opinion, which is not binding on members of the National Assembly.”