Lawyer Condemns External Interference In Race For NASS Leadership


Ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, Dr Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer has condemned the undue external interference of who becomes the leader of the National Assembly (NASS).

Ajulo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that there should be respect for separation of powers.

The lawyer said that people in both chambers should be made to have a say in who emerged as their leaders, stressing that it should not be through imposition.

“I don’t think there should be external interference; that is why there is separation of powers, which is the executive, legislature and the judiciary.

“Now, this is the legislature, let them fix themselves, and mind you it is just the importance we give to most of these principal officers, they are all equal.

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“So whosoever they believe they want as their leaders, they should allow them choose, they should however be guided by the rules of the house, the constitution and by their conscience.’’

Ajulo said that for a party or anybody to foist leadership on other arm of government would be disrespectful to the office they were elected into.

He said that although such move could be allowed and expected in a democracy, however, it should not be used to erode the basic principle of the country’s constitutionalism and the role of the legislature.

He said that the lawmakers should be able to choose those they believed would lead them, which remained the basic tenet of democracy.

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“What happened during Bukola Saraki emergence as the Senate President was the beauty of democracy, this one too should be as smooth as that.’’

Saraki had in 2015 defied the party’s choice of Sen. Ahmed Lawan to emerge as the senate president with the votes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) senators.

Ajulo said that there should be some possible contending forces for and against the seat of the senate president, noting that when the best emerged, “it is for the good of the country’’.

“What I always insist as a lawyer is that the rule of law is allowed to take its course on anything.’’

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Ajulo noted that in democracy, the opposition contributed in no small measures to making it work; which eventually would make life better for the people.

He said that the overall objective of struggle for power was for the people and not the president.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate and the House of Representatives will on June 9, elect the senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr Adams Oshiomole, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chairman had told the elected lawmakers that the party and President Muhammadu Buhari favoured Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the two positions.

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