Concerned Citzens to Gbajabiamila: Obey Appeal’s Court Order, Reinstate Suleiman Aliyu Lere Now
Kaduna, North – West, Nigeria
A group under the auspices of Concerned Citizens has called on the Speaker, House of Representative, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to without any further delay respect the ruling and order of the Appeal Court and reinstate Hon. Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere as the rightful occupant of the seat in the Federal House of Representatives, Lere Federal Constituency, Kaduna State.
The group in a press conference held today at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna who said they were speaking on behalf of 64, 442 adult electorates in Lere, majority members of the All Progressive Congress APC, said that,
“the erroneous decisions by the Court of Appeal which led to the removal of Engr. Suleiman Lere from the seat of member representing Lere Federal Constituency were successfully challenged via an application no CA/K/127/M/2020 to set aside ex debito justitiae, and its wrong judgments in Appeal Nos. CA/K/EPT/NN18/2019 and CA/K/EPT/NA/19/2019 and they made the following orders:
That “the certificate of return issued to the 2d Respondent (i.e Lawal Muhammad Rabiu of the (PDP) by the 1Respondent (INEC) be, and is hereby nullified.
The 1st Respondent (INEC) shall recognize and give effect to the Certificate of Return earlier issued to the 4th Respondent (I.e Hon. Engr.) Suleiman Aliyu Lere” )
With reference to Appeal No. CA/K/127M/2020 wherein the court nullified the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal and its own judgment No.CA/K//EPT/NA/19/2019, and reaffirmed its judgement in CA/K/40/2019 which was affirmed by the Supreme Court in suit No SC/222/2019, the group is challenging the authenticity of Hon. Lawal Rabiu of the PDP holding on to the seat meant for Hon. Suleiman of the APC and supported by the Speaker himself.
According to the text read by Barrister Suleiman Danladi Lere which revealed several avenues taken to get redress without result, it states:
“In 2019, during the primary election, Hon. Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere was declared as the winner of the APC primary election for Lere Federal Constituency. Engr. Suleiman Lere scored sixty-four thousand, four hundred and forty two (64,442) votes defeating PDP and its candidate, Hon. Rabiu Mohammed Lawal who scored only twenty – nine thousand, seven hundred and six (29,706) votes.
“We are solicitors to the concerned citizens of Lere Local Government and most particularly and specifically the 64,442 adult electorates and majority of which are APC who came out em – masse to vote for APC and Hon. Engr. Suleinan Aliyu Lere as member for Lere Constituency in the House of Representatives” And that it was on their authority and instruction that they wrote letter of appeal to the Speaker, House of Representatives.
According to the group, the implication of the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Application No.: CA/K/1127/M/2020 is that Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere has legally been the member representing Lere Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly since its inauguration in the eye of the law.
The group made the following demands with some signatures appended.
“We collectively and unanimously demand from the Hon. Speaker the following;
a. The immediate and unconditional reinstatement of our elected representative (Hon.Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere) back to his office by virtue of the mandate of the people, judgment and order of the court and valid certificate of return already issued to him and served on the Rt. Hon. Speaker.
b. A written apology from the Speaker to the entire people of Lere Federal Constituency who are law abiding citizens, failure of which, the members of the Lere Federal Constituency I.e 64,442 who voted APC and Hon. Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere would occupy their legitimate office in the National Assembly”.
In an answer to the question as to whether the Hon. Speaker, Gbajabiamila is not in the picture of the Court of Appeal’s ruling, with regards to the re instatement of Hon. Suleiman Aliyu as representative of Lere Federal Constituency, and more so, being an APC member, the group explained.
That APC has written officially to inform the Speaker with all the attached court proceedings demanding that Engr. Suleiman Aliyu Lere be sworn in as the right person to represent Lere federal constituency but to no avail.
“Is it right for the Speaker to admit somebody without certificate of return from INEC to seat at the plenary? Is it right to allow somebody who has not worn an election in his constituency to seat at the plenary? Is it right for the Speaker to allow somebody who does not have the judgement of the court to be there and the entire national assembly cannot talk to him? He cannot listen to his party?
Femi Gbajabiamila has refused to comply with party order, refused to comply with court order and also as a lawmaker, he has broken the law. We, the people of Nigeria, we will take it from there.
“By virtue of Section 246 (3)of the 1999 Constitution, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended), the Court of Appeal’s decision is final in election petition proceedings pertaining to National Assembly matters. The group added.