A frontline Coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs) has joined the Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in it’s call on the President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to immediately declare vacant the seat of the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the 10th National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
The CSOs also underscored the need for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to reopen the 2013 N43 billion subsidy scam against Senator Ubah and Capital Oil and Gas Limited following the judgment of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal that cleared the EFCC to continue its investigation and prosecute them. Vowing to join and mobilise all civil society organisations under its umbrella and patriotic citizens at the end of the CNPP’s 21-day ultimatum in statement signed by its National Secretary, Alhaji Ali Abacha, the CSOs added that they firmly stand with the umbrella body of Nigerian political parties, saying that the provisions of section 68 of the Constitution is unequivocal.
The CSOs said that “Section 68 (1) (g) of the constitution is unambiguous on party defection grounds for removal for members of the national assembly.
“The section states that a member of the National Assembly shall vacate his seat “being a person whose election to the house was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected; provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored”.
“By the provisions of section 68 of the constitution, the President of the Senate has no choice but to immediately declare the seat of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah vacant following his defection from the Young Progressives Party (YPP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Nigeria is not a banana republic; the laws of the land are for enforcement, unless the APC is saying that Nigeria is a failed state.
“We shall not only join in the struggle to pressure the Senate to do the needful in this matter, we shall also rally other civil society organisations and all patriotic Nigerians to compel Senator Akpabio to enforce the provisions of the constitution he swore to uphold”, the CSO vowed.
On pending corruption cases against Capital Oil and Gas Limited and its then Managing Director, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, the CSOs insisted their alleged complicity in the N43.29bn fraud perpetrated through the petroleum subsidy scheme must not be covered.
The Coalition added that it agrees that “the withdrawal of the Federal Government’s 8-count charge against Senator Ifeanyi Ubah over his alleged indebtedness to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) sometimes in 2019 was politically motivated as the timing speaks volumes.”
Among others, government had accused Uba of making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets he transferred to AMCON under a consent judgment obtained in 2012, contrary to Section 54(1) of the AMCON Act.