Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has averred that there is no legal or constitutional basis for Dr. Bukola Saraki to resign as Senate President because he defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ozekhome in his intervention on the recent gale of defections in the polity said Saraki would not lose his seat for defecting to the party.
According to him, in line with the provision of Section 68 (1) (g), the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) permits a legislator to cross carpet if a division, factionalisation or merger has occurred in his party.
“In the case of APC, 24 states held parallel congresses before the national convention. Can there be any better or stronger evidence of a division in a party? I think not. To add to the gravity of this internal implosion and vertical and horizontal schism, a new wing, r-APC emerged from the APC at the national level. It is headed by no less a person than Buba Galadima, a tested political strategist, Buhari’s right hand man and former Secretary of Buhari’s CPC”, Ozekhome said.
The constitutional lawyer argued that despite the dismissal of the R-APC by the APC leadership, the Pandora Box was eventually opened with the defection of three governors, many Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
According to him, all the legislators, including Dr Bukola Saraki, are constitutionally covered and immune from removal from office, because their APC party is eventually irredeemably broken into smithereens and totally factionalized.
He enthused that by virtue of constitutional provision, Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives (who is also likely to defect), can only be removed by two-thirds majority of the lawmakers.
“In the case of the Senate, that is a humongous 73 Senators, and a whopping 240 members of the House of Representatives to remove Dogara. That is an impossible task under the present circumstances even if this corrupt government that feigns anti-corruption war promises all the oil blocks and automatic tickets to the legislators”, Ozekhome said.