Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has alleged that the withdrawal of his security aides by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Suleiman Abba, was a ploy to harm him, this was contained in a statement issued in his office on Thursday evening, signed by Imam Imam, his media aide.
The statement also described the action of the police as contempt of court.
The Speaker had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC last Tuesday.
He attended the extra ordinary convention of his new party on Wednesday where he asked Nigerians to vote out PDP in the 2015 general elections.
But Abba had in his reaction said the Speaker’s defection had activated section 68 (g) of the 1999 constitution which says a member of parliament who defects will lose his seat.
Imam said the courts has already pronounced in two cases that the PDP is factionalised.
He also said the police did not have the powers to be interpreting the constitution.
The full text of the statement: “The office of the Hon Speaker House of Representatives, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has received with shock and amazement the statement issued by the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters justifying the withdrawal of Police Security Personnel attached to the Hon Speaker, by the Acting Inspector General of Police.
“In the said statement, the Force has stated to the effect that by his defection from the PDP to the APC, the Hon Speaker is in breach of Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution and is consequently no longer entitled to police security. Nothing can be further from the truth.
“The implication of the Inspector General of Police’s statement is that as sanction for this alleged constitutional breach, he has removed Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from office of Speaker House of Representatives.
“For the avoidance of doubt the question of whether or not there is a division or faction in the PDP has been resolved by Lord Justice Faji of the Ilorin Division of Federal High Court in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/605/2013 in which the court held that indeed there were factions in the PDP.
“Again in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/ 605/2013, the Sokoto Division of the Federal High Court per Justice Aikawa, the judgment of the court was that there was not only Division but faction in the PDP which later merged with the APC.
“As the number four citizen in the hierarchy of protocol in the country, the Speaker is entitled to security protection by the security agencies, therefore we see the action of the Acting Inspector General of Police as not only contempt of the courts but a ploy to bring harm to the person of Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
“We are on authority that nothing in the 1999 Constitution nor the Police Act confers on the police force adjudicatory powers including the interpretation of the constitution.
“In any case even Section 215 of the 1999 Constitution does not contemplate the issuing of or compliance with unlawful orders by the President and or the Inspector General of Police respectively.
“What the Acting Inspector General of Police has done therefore has no basis in law including the 1999 Constitution which he has cited. It is a brazen act of crass impunity, gross Constitutional breach and contempt of court, The Inspector General should desist from assuming or usurping the constitutional functions of the Judiciary.
“For the avoidance of doubt the Speaker of the House is elected by members from among themselves under Section 50(1) (b) of the constitution and vacates office under Section 50 (2) (a) (b) &(c), in the case of (c) by two-thirds majority of members of the House.
“The Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution which refers to a member vacating his seat on grounds of defection, which the Inspector General of Police refers to, has a proviso which has been and still is a matter for judicial and not police interpretation.
“We have faith and confidence in our judiciary and are persuaded that it cannot by stampeded into administering injustice.”