PAUL OMOKUVIE BAUCHI
Women Coalition for Sustainable Peace and Viable Democratic Gains in Bauchi State, a non-governmental organisation, has explained that the National Assembly has no valid reason to take over the state House of Assembly going by the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
They argued that taking over the state Assembly is an action that might put the state under siege.
Leader of the group, Hajiya Addaji Mohammed, stated this when she addressed a press conference in Bauchi at the weekend.
Mohammed said the group was surprised by the action of the House of Representatives as they ignored the 1999 constitution.
She advised that the state governor, Bala Mohammed, to neither succumb to pressure nor withdraw the proclamations earlier given to the House.
She explained: “Section 11 Sub Section 4 of the 1999 constitution states that ‘at any time when House of Assembly of a state is not able to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in the state, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that state, with respect to matters on which the state House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly as to be necessary or expedient, until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions, and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the State House of Assembly of the state provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of a State from office.’ Sub Section (5) says ‘for the purposes of sub section (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.’”
Speaking further, she said: “Chapter 5 , Part 2, section 96 sub section 1 and 2 states that ‘The Quorum shall be one-third of all the members of the House if objection is taken by any member of the House of Assembly present, in that House besides the person presiding, fewer than one-third of all the members of that House, and that is not competent to the House to transact business and after such interval as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure of the House, the person presiding ascertains that the number of the members present is still less than one third of all the members of the House he should adjourn the House, going by this any fair-minded person even if he is not a lawyer he should know that going by what the constitution said the National Assembly has no reason to take over the Bauchi State Assembly.”
Mohammed added: “There is no prevailing situation in the state; the state is peaceful; the House continues with its businesses as it is in the constitution and according to the standing orders of the House, they approved for the appointments of ten special advisers and some laudable projects initiated by the governor, the members that are not attending the House sitting are only the members-elect that refused to go to the House to take the oath of office according to the laws. We are still appealing to the remaining 18 members not to allow themselves to be used by the former governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and the former Speaker Kawuwa Shehu Damina, against the best interest of the state.