A social and democratic advocacy group based in Ilorin, Kwara State, the Kwara Rescue Initiative, has condemned the suspension of the lone opposition lawmaker in the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Jimoh Agboola, by the presiding officer of the House, without recourse to due process.
In a press statement issued in Ilorin on Friday, by its chairman, Adekunle Bakare, the group also described the statement issued by another Kwara-based group, Kwara Must Change, which criticized the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for the suspension of two senators during his tenure as either “a clear case of intentional insincerity or conscientious ignorance.”
The group said: “The suspension of a lawmaker, regardless of whichever party he or she represents, without recourse to due process is tantamount to tyranny.
“This is why the Kwara State House of Assembly must immediately rescind this decision, which can set a terrible precedent in our state and our nation’s nascent democracy.
“It is important to note that some defenders of the action of the State House of Assembly, who wish to plunge our state into chaos, including the one-man group, Kwara Must Change, are either being intentionally insincere or conscientiously ignorant.”
It argued that both during the eighth Senate under Saraki, and other previous assemblies, all suspensions were done via the recommendations of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, and not by a sole pronouncement of a presiding officer, who is only the first amongst equals.
“This was the case with Senator Ali Ndume when he breached the privileges of his colleagues and exposed the Senate as an institution to ridicule, as well as that of Omo-Agege in the eighth Senate, when he exposed his colleagues to harm, when he stated that the decisions taken as a collective, when they moved to pass an amendment to the electoral act, were anti-Buhari.
“The records show that the recommendations for their suspension came from their colleagues who served on the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, which was chaired by Senator Sam Anyanwu at the time,” Bakare stated.
The group, therefore, called on the Kwara State House of Assembly, the governor, and all institutions of government to put pressure on the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Salihu Yakubu-Danladi, to immediately rescind the illegal suspension of Agboola.a