A former member of House of Representatives for Eket Federal Constituency, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, has regretted that most legislators at the National Assembly have failed to exploit oversight powers granted them by constitution to enrich their legislative engagements.
He added that apart from lawmaking, the legislators can go further in engaging governors, corporate organisations, ministries departments and agencies to bring development in their communities.
In a media chat at the Ibom E-Library, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on Monday, Eyiboh, who is also the All Progressives Congress candidate in the 2023 elections for Eket Federal Constituency, said legislative business is not for everyone and should be given to someone who is conversant with the law and has the capacity to engage and negotiate for his constituents.
He described as worrisome a situation where people trade experience and competence with mediocrity and blindly follow a person who does not have what to bring to the table.
Speaking further on oversight functions, the House of Reps candidate argued that a lawmaker has the power through oversight to task a governor who brings a loan request to the house for approval to include the demands of people he represents in the proposed projects saying that it takes a lawmaker who knows his onions to exploit that provision.
Eyiboh, who regretted the dormancy of Akwa Palm, non-availability of financial institutions and lack of electricity over eight years in his local government, Esit Eket, said National Assembly members could through oversight engage government and other corporate bodies to revitalize them.
According to him, “It is worrisome that we are trading experience and competence with mediocrity. The problem we have is from the recruitment process because we are trying to build strong individuals rather than strong institutions.
“If you look at the issue of oversight, you will understand that some lawmakers do not understand their powers of oversight to be able to use the provisions of the constitution to engage various arms of government like the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“In the legislative business, you don’t need to go to war with one another, there are various windows to exploit. State government is involved and mind you, you cannot engage the state government when you are the messenger of the governor. A neutral person should be sent to the National Assembly who can confront the governor.
“As I’m talking to you, my local government, Esit Eket has no electricity for eight years no financial institution not to talk of Automated Teller Machine, ATM, and you don’t think that through institutional engagement and networking of oversight, the Legislator can engage the governor of central bank to direct any of the MDs of banks to install at least an ATM?”
On Muslim-Muslim ticket, Eyiboh said, “I don’t think there is a provision in our constitution that the emergence of any candidate will be a product of faith, so if a presidential candidate chooses to pick somebody to boast his chances in winning the polls then coincidentally they are of same faith, that should not be a problem.
“Nigeria is a secular country, we are being promoted and guided by the preambles of the constitution that says “we the people of Nigeria’ not ‘we the christians or muslims of Nigeria.’ No candidate of a political party in Nigeria emerges on the basis of faith but on the basis of competence.”
Buhari’s In-law Quits APC, Cites Impunity, Injustice
Sani Sha’aban, a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State and an in-law to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday quit the party.
Sha’aban, whose 17 children bought the N50 million Expression of Interest and the Nomination forms for him to contest the 2023 governorship election, cited impunity and injustice as reasons for dumping the ruling party in the state.
He also added that he decided to dump the party because it has no regard for the rule of law.
The governorship aspirant shortly after the May 2022 primary of the APC in the state, approached the Federal High Court in Kaduna for exclusion from the election where the incumbent Senator representing the Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, was declared the winner.
But the court presided over by Justice Mohammed Garba Umar threw out the case in early November, declaring that the court has no jurisdiction over the matter.
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Sha’aban, however, proceeded to the Court of Appeal where he vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion despite leaving the party.
While addressing a press conference through the Director of Sani Mahmoud Sha’aban Campaign Organisation, Mr Joshua Danladi Ephraim, the Governorship aspirant, insisted that he had no business with a party that has no respect for the rule of law.
In the resignation letter dated November 28, 2022, and addressed to the APC Chairman of his ward, Hanwa,
in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of the state continued that recent developments within the party had compelled him to reconsider his membership of the party, adding that with “best efforts, admonition and best intentions, the party has become alienated from the masses.”
When asked about his next political move, he said he would have to consult “those who have to love us of where next to move to.”
Sha’aban in the letter partly said, “Recent activities and events within the APC in Kaduna State, in particular, have compelled me to reconsider my membership of the APC. Despite all our best efforts, admonitions and best intentions, it is disheartening to note that the APC has become more alienated from the masses, and father than foster peace, social cohesion and integration in Kaduna State as we envisaged and worked for, the APC in Kaduna State is now seen as synonymous with hardship, division and with total disregard for human lives, communal and family values.
“Rather than work to bring the dividends of democracy closer to the masses, some few elements in the APC in Kaduna State have hijacked the party structure and turned it into their personal estate to serve their personal greed and avarice, for the benefit of only their families, friends and cronies. They have no regard whatsoever for the feelings, yearnings and sensibilities of even the many members of the Party who supported them, and the general populace of Kaduna State.
“As one who strongly believes in God, and in the belief that the commonwealth of the land is for the common benefit of all, I have found myself unable in good conscience, to sit back and allow this reign of impunity to go on without a voice of dissent. At various times, I have had cause to express my displeasure with the policies and actions of the APC in Kaduna State to you.
“As you are aware, my stance on good governance, Rule of Law, Social Justice and Equity has caused us to be treated with disdain, and to be seen as a Pariah to those who are personally benefitting from the skewed realities present in the APC. My many admonitions, protests, actions and best efforts at salvaging the Party to bring it back into focus to achieve the set objectives of forming the Party have been severally ignored by you. There is, however, a limit to what I can do as a Member of the Party.
“I believe I have in all conscience before God, done my possible best to stave off the inevitable but to no avail. I have come to the firm conclusion and resolve that in all good conscience, I cannot remain a member of the APC under the present state of affairs, where the interest of the majority of common folks is little regarded.
“I cannot remain in a Party that has little or no regard for human lives, social integration, peace and our time-valued and cherished Communal and traditional values. I cannot remain in the APC when the Party has no respect for the Rule of Law and the simplest of the laws of the land.
“Therefore, effective immediately, I officially and formally resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress at all levels.”
Osun LG Polls: OSIEC Withdraws APC Members ‘Certificates Of Return’
The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission has announced the withdrawal of certificates of return given to all elected officials in the October 15 local government election.
The then ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, was the only party that fielded candidates contesting posts of chairmen and councillors at the polls and OSIEC returned all of them elected.
Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, however, in his judgment in a case filed by the PDP against OSIEC, the APC and some of its chairmanship candidates, last Friday, nullified the election sighting noncompliance with the Electoral Act.
In a statement signed by the OSIEC Executive Secretary, Adedapo Adejumo, obtained in Osogbo on Monday, the Commission stated it would not appeal the judgment.
The Commission also admitted it did not comply with the provisions of Section 24 of OSIEC Law, 2022 and Section 28 of the Electoral Act 2022, which mandated it to give a notice of 360 days before the conduct of the election.
The statement further read in part, “Consequent upon the judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo in the case FHC\OS\CS\94\2022 involving the PDP VS the Independent National Electoral Commission and six others, delivered on Friday, November 25, 2022, which nullified the local government elections conducted by OSIEC on October 15, 2022, the Commission hereby announces its decision not to appeal the judgement of the Federal High Court, Osogbo.
“The decision of the Commission is coming against the backdrop of OSIEC’s failure to follow strictly the provisions of Section 24 of OSIEC Law, 2022 and Section 28 of the Electoral Act 2022, which mandate the Commission to give a notice of 360 days before the conduct of the election.
“In view of this, OSIEC aligns perfectly with the decision of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, as the elections stand nullified.
“Consequently, the certificates of return already issued to the purportedly elected chairmen and councillors are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect.”
JUST IN: Senate President Lawan Loses In Court
The Court of Appeal Abuja on Monday affirmed Bashir Sheriff Machina as the authentic All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District.
reports that a three-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State which held that the President of the senate Ahmad Lawan, is not the APC candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District in respect of the 2023 election.
The court had submitted that Lawan did not participate in the legally-recognised primary election of the APC to select its candidate in the election held in May 2022.
Recall that while Lawan, picked the presidential form of the APC and participated in the primary election that was won by former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, Machina contested and won his bid to take over as the candidate of the party for the senatorial contest.
Following his defeat at the presidential primary election, Lawan, allegedly backed by APC heavyweights, asked Machina to relinquish the senatorial ticket to him, a request.
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