Our attention has been drawn to a publication by one DON NORMAN OBINNA where he accused the state Governor Dr Alex Otti of imposing a first-timer as speaker and deputy speaker of the Abia state House of Assembly.
We are not surprised by the unsubstantiated writeup presented by Mr DON NORMAN OBINNA who is notorious for peddling lies.
He has grossly exposed himself as someone ignorant of the law.
Of course, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as ammended empowers the State Houses and National Assembly to make their rules to regulate their activities, but there is a strong caveat to the effect that all rules and regulations made by them must not go contrary to the any aspect of the Nigerian Constitution.
This position is expressly stated in Section 101 of the 1999 Constitution which says:
“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the procedure for summoning and recess of the House.”
And Section 92, Subsection 1of the 1999 Constitution as amended emphatically states that
“There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of a House of Assembly who shall be elected by members of the House from among themselves”.
Here, the Constitution was explicit. No issue of ranking, first, second or tenth timer was mentioned. Quite obviously, every informed mind will not be surprised at all, knowing that the Constitution which is the grund norm, places great emphasis on upholding the fundamental human right of every Nigerian, and as such wouldn’t have supported such myopic opinion of discriminating against first timers.
It was a wonder that such House rules were even allowed in the first place. One may ask: what if there was no returning member or second timer in the House? And what if the only returning member was to be from the Constituency of the Governor, what would have happened to the issue of spread and balance? Again, it is disappointing that such rule was dispassionately put together without considering such preemptive circumstances.
The Abia 6th Assembly which made such faulty rules, and the 7th Assembly which upheld them need to apologise to Abians for such obnoxious and discriminating piece of legislation. And Abians owe the new 8th Assembly a lot for standing firm against such misrule. Of course, everybody saw the relief thqt greeted the atmosphere in Abia with the emergence of those two Laboir party gentlemen as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
We wish to state categorically that Rt Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa and Rt Hon Austin Okezie Meregini (Ugolee) were duly and peacefully elected as
speaker and deputy speaker respectively of the 8th Abia Assembly without any interference, contrary to your misleading publication.
The public is also aware that Dr Alex Otti is busy strategizing on how to rebuild the state for the good of all, and will not spend his time interfering in the election of the presiding officers of the 8th Abia House Assembly, as insinuated by Mr DON NORMAN OBINNA who of course is known for his unpalatable antics
Mr DON NORMAN OBINNA should hide his face in shame, and is advised to stop peddling unsubstantiated facts against Dr Otti and the state House of Assembly. If he must attack any body, he is advised to do his research well because Abians under this new and refreshing government of Dr Alex Otti will not entertain such hollow and outrightly flawed writeups.
He is advised to keep off this government or prepare to receive it back in good measure. Going forward, he should have it imprinted in his subconscious that he has chosen the wrong guys to mess with.
Above all, Mr DON NORMAN OBINNA should be reminded that the era of using sycophancy and attacks to secure appointments or favour in Abia state is now over, as the present administration will not give in to mediocrity and sycophants.
Of Media Team,
Abia Deputy Speaker
Rt Hon Austin Okezie Meregini (Ugolee)
22nd June 2023