The Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Idris Miliki Abdul has described as worrisome the recent suspension of Nine members of Kogi State House of Assembly and Seven Local Government Chairmen and some Vice Chairmen.
He lamented that such decision posed dangerous threat to the country’s democratic process.
Comrade Miliki Abdul stated this in a statement he personally signed to expressed his opinion over the 23rd March, 2023 gale of suspensions that hit Kogi state .
According to him, the legislators are supposed to be independent arms of government that set out its own rules and procedure, saying the recent development where lawmakers were suspended at random called for caution, noting that they were elected to represent their constituencies.
He noted that any suspension carried out on any of the legislators legitimately or otherwise has reflection and impact on the constituencies they represented.
“More worrisome and condemnable, is when Local Government Chairmen heading another arm of government entirely was suspended, based on correspondence or complaints from the Executive arm of government and by extension Chairman of political party. This is disturbing.
“Chairmen of Local Government were given suspension ahead of any committee reports is worrisome in the democratic dispensation we find ourselves. What then should be the role of legislators at the Local Government level popularly refer to or called counsellors?
“It should be noted that Nigeria presently practice Federalism with three tiers of Government in which each work independently as provided for in the Nigeria Constitution and relevant laws in Nigeria.
“The fundamental question is, can a national chairman of a political party and the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria complain to the National Assembly against any governor in Nigeria and such governor will be out-rightly suspended by the National Assembly?
“Legislative institutions are created by law to make laws and to uphold the rule of Law, and Kogi State House of Assembly cannot be an exceptional.
“All its activities must follow the rule of law and democratic principles. Elected legislators and Local Government Chairmen are Elected by the generality of the citizens that goes beyond political parties, particularly on Election Days just as witnessed in the recent concluded 2023 general election in Nigeria.
“It is evidently clear that after the party primaries, the electorates or voters choose who represent them at various level. Therefore, the political platform through which a candidate emerge, can no longer determine solely the destiny of such elected individuals in the name of anti-party activities.
“Where a crime or criminality has been establish, reports should have been made to relevant security agencies for proper or vigorous investigation and prosecution, as everybody is presume innocent until proven guilty by court of Law under the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Also before any local government chairman can be remove, the legislative arm of such Local Government should have play a verifiable role by carrying out their own legislative investigations as prescribed by law, and reports are made to the State Assembly, but in this recent suspensions all reports made available to the public, does not indicate that such processes has been followed.
“Therefore, we called on the Kogi State House of Assembly not to turn itself to a unit or department under government house in Kogi State. We call on governor Yahaya Bello who was democratically elected to respect democratic principles and due process in all his activities, including dealing with all citizens of Kogi State” the statement said.