Ozekhome urges Tambuwal to resign over blockade drama

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, on Thursday called on Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives, to resign for peace to reign in the legislature.

Mr. Ozekhome, a constitutional lawyer, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the lawmakers’ fracas which culminated in Thursday’s shutdown of the national Assembly.

NAN reports that Senate President David Mark on Thursday announced the suspension of National Assembly plenaries until Tuesday, following the reconvening of the House of Representatives.

The lower chamber reconvened on Thursday to discuss President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of the State of Emergency in the three North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

But security operatives barricaded the entrance in an attempt to prevent Mr. Tambuwal access to the chamber, leading to a commotion and the shooting of teargas.

Mr. Ozekhome said that the undercurrent of the entire episode was that some lawmakers must have felt that the reconvening of the House would lead to Mr. Tambuwal’s impeachment by his opponents.

This, he said, could have informed their desperate attempt to get to the chambers by climbing the National Assembly gate and fence when it was closed against them to forestall the impending fracas.

“My advice is that Tambuwal should honourably and voluntarily resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives in order for peace to reign in the National Assembly.

“Having defected from the political party on which platform he got to the National Assembly and became the Speaker, he should stop his present grandstanding because he cannot have his cake and eat it.

“Whether the courts have declared his seat vacant or not, whether he has been impeached or not, and whether it is constitutional for him to do so or not, he owes a moral obligation to resign now.

Mr. Ozekhome said that the Senate President did the right thing by suspending plenary till Tuesday next week so that the tension would calm down.

“The Senate President, by virtue of Section 53 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution, is the Chairman of the National Assembly and so is empowered to regulate the legislature which is bicameral.’’

He condemned the action of the lawmakers who climbed the fence to get into the premises of the National Assembly complex.

The senior advocate said that what those lawmakers did smacked of `indecency, indecorum and, above all, very shameful in the eyes of those who elected them and the international community.

(NAN)


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  • Otile

    These are the same APC hooligans who want to rule Nigeria. Only in their dream.

    • TRUTH MASTER

      Hooligans? The real hooligans are the scallywags who prevented lawmakers from carrying out their constitutional duties. The real hooligans are the scumbags who chose today to attempt to remove the speaker….and it boomeranged on them. The real hooligans are those who will defend impunity!

  • #BUHARI

    Whether it is constitutional or not… yet you call yourself a senior advocate. what are you advocating for? Recall how you were arrested with ballot box stuffing? You are part of the problems of this country. Didn’t hear you even blaming the police. Its a shame.

  • Khadijah D.

    Is this man sure he went to the law school? Shouldn’t he ask is it constitutionally right or wrong for Tambuwal to resign instead of jumping the gun?

  • Dumbo

    Ozekhome must have bought his SAN. He is corrupt and an ethnic bigot,

    • Ibeji

      You’ll be right to say so, actually, because Mike Ozekome’s call here is bereft of lawyerly reasoning.

      A ‘moral obligation’ to resign is as irrelevant as it is brainless where the law prescribes what should happen. The law says Aminu Tambuwal loses his membership of the House of Representatives automatically until he demonstrates that there’s a division in PDPwarranting his defection. Aminu Tambuwal has not done so. Therefore he is no longer a legislator as at today. Asking a non-member to resign the post of Speaker is most un-lawyerly and almost daft.

    • TRUTH MASTER

      His SAN is suspect!

  • Frank Bassey

    It was a show of members of Lower Chambers with Lower mentality, Lower integrity, Lower .everything.

  • Paddy

    some people talk as if they just came into this country, a country where there is no morality, even SANS like this are not exceptional too, please hear him talk like he does not understand the order of the day, Tambuwal should not resign or bulge to the pressure of the opposition, PDP benefitted more from decamping, starting from the days of Obanikoro and up till what is happening in Ekiti where someone that suppose to be cooling off his heels in gaol is now the Governor or did the constitution did not state that after impeachment you wait for ten years before you can be elected into any public office again and our SAN now say Tambuwal should resign and let it go as business as usual.

  • Preco01

    MR OZEKHOME PLEASE READ THIS ALOUD!

    New Nigerian

    November 20, 2014 – 7:46 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr. President And as the celebrant it is disturbing that you chose your birthday as a day to shutter the National Assembly against the elected representatives. It is also telling that as the leader of the country your birthday is only graced as if you are the governor of a state – your home state – perhaps it is a testament to the amount of goodwill that you have been able to generate amongst ALL Nigerians as the President and Commander-in-chief for the past 5.5 years. Or maybe Nigerians are so busy trying to even breathe that they can’t remember that it is your birthday. Whatever the case, we the Nigerian people look forward to celebrating your 58th Birthday with you, God willing, as a private citizen.And this is why –

    Nigerians are a proud and graceful people – we want our leader to succeed and we have given you ample chance to do with us as you wish – we the people have decided to move on and try another leader, for we know you are a decent, soft spoken gentleman who may have come as our leader before your time, the leadership we need now is different from the leadership you can provide. We thank you for your service and we do not question that you indeed have a vision for Nigeria, however we no longer due to the actions we have seen on all fronts share your vision for Nigeria.

    We want a country where every man is judged by the content of his character & NOT by his ethnicity, the language he speaks or how he chooses to worship or not worship God (this actually informed your selection however you have worked hard with passion & relish to turn the hands of the clock backward in this respect).

    We want a country where every criminal North, South, East or West will be rest assured that they’d have justice meted to them without fear or favour. We want a country where our commander-in-chief would command & put out aggression of any sort against the Nigerian people and Nigerian state in a swift, professional and precision manner NOT one where it is allowed to fester and milked for political advantage.

    We want a country where it’s president would be president for all Nigerians irrespective of party-leaning NOT one where the party’s constitution has primacy over the country’s constitution.

    We want a country that is governed through rule-of-law, where no one no matter highly placed is above the law of the land and NOT a country that is governed by the rule-of-man, one rule for the few and another for the many.

    We want a country that it’s state defence and military apparatus protects every Nigerian citizen and NOT one where it is only a tool to guard those holding elected office and to be used against Nigerians.

    We want a country where the resources of the country is professionally& ethically managed for the good of ALL Nigerians and NOT a country that it’s resources are usurped for the benefit of a few.

    We want a country where every child and generations unborn would feel protected, nurtured and cared for when they see or hear how it’s leadership have managed our affairs during this time.

    We have looked at all these criteria and found you wanting in executing policies and actions that move Nigeria towards the New Nigerian dream that we see. We the people have decided to seek change peacefully through the ballot box. We are not naïve to think that it would be easy, God willing we are determined and would do all it takes to no longer be idle participants in our destinies. Be informed that God willing, change is on it’s way and the best you can do at this point is to ensure that Nigerians are not dis-enfranchised and goaded towards violent change. May God Bless Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen

    • Scalywag

      Very well spoken. You spoke the mind of MOST nigerians . God bless you

  • Scalywag

    These are SANS who are creating chaos so they can make billions of naira as legal fees. When Is a Yuguda was the first governor to defect from ANPP to PDP where was this character? When the speaker of Ondo defected to PDP where was he? Today 7 lawmakers that defected to PDP in Ekiti from APC and ‘impeached’ the speaker. This fellow sees nothing wrong. But according to him Tambuwal should resign because he moved in the opposite direction.

  • TRUTH MASTER

    Since this Ozekhome was kidnapped and released, he seemed to have lost his sense of propriety. I sincerely hope the kidnappers have not tampered with his faculty. A

  • tolishh

    Yeye lawyer. When tambuwal decamped from anpp to pdp they dint ask him to relinquish his membership but now that the table have turn there is moral justification to the situation.

  • Simnom

    Goodness Gracious! We keep getting lower and lower in all issues. That’s a SAN speaking. Nigeria is totally finished.

  • Spoken word

    This guy is talking bollocks. Is he really a SAN.looks like he lost his senses after he had been kidnapped.

  • Tabugbo

    “My advice is that Tambuwal should honourably and voluntarily resign as Speaker of the House of Representatives in order for peace to reign in the National Assembly,” said Ozekhome. Tambuwal cannot “honourably … resign” because he has no honour.

    • Observers

      But Jonathan must go.

  • Swordfish

    Clearly there is sentiment in Mr. Ozekhome’s assertion. At this point in time, the only person Ozekhome should be advising to resign honourably for peace and stability to reign is the clueless president GEJ on whose watch all the calamities are happening today in the country. GEJ has woefully failed Nigeria and Nigerian!

  • King Carlos

    nonsense talk, if anybody has to resign then it is jonathan. He has lost territory to insurgents and yet we are still calling him president,he is cutting birthday cake as if all is well in the country.

  • osams

    I think the speaker is trying to be a super star. He should throw in the torwel with out any delay. There is the Igbo adage which says that the okro tree plant cannot be taller than the ownner- (okro aighi aka onye nwe ya).

    • Nostory

      Tambuwal will be speaker till June 2015 ;he is untouchable and no bad thing will happen to him. There is a Yoruba proverb which says that a snare never catches a snake in the leg (Iko ki i ko ejo lese )

  • True Nigerian

    Mike, you are either an overrated senior advocate or a hopelessly insincere biased one. It’s such a shame! Very uninspiring for young lawyers in this country. How does a senior advocate get his views so warped with bias that he does not even see the wrong in how the executive and police have handled this? You have already made a veiled admission that the court’s jurisdiction has not been exhausted on this and that his seat has not been declared vacant by the appropriate authority. Yet, you say he should resign, but you’re not honest enough to condemn what is obviously an unacceptable executive rascality. But you have all the time to condemn the jumping of illegal barricades in a legislative precinct. What response were you expecting when the independence of the legislature is under threat and legislators are illegally being put in danger of usurpation of their constitutional powers? You wanted those legislators to go to the court for a court order to stop an obvious illegal impeachment attempt that would have taken place before anybody says jack. Stop thinking and talking like a programmed robot. This is why SAN means nothing these days. Aondoaaka, Bello Adoke, are just some of the despicable characters that are called SAN. It shows that Nigeria is in a state of anomie!

    • Kingsley O. Agbontaen

      Very well said. I think the conferment of the SAN appellation on Ezekhome was in error. I arrived at this conclusion earlier in the day when I read his comments on whether the president has the right to single handedly suspend the CB governor. I am not a lawyer, but as the saying goes, You don’t have to be a chicken to know a good omelette. I read comments on same issue and others from his non-SAN colleagues and further justify my conclusion. Read Barristers Festus Keyamo, Jiti Ogunye etc and you would wish to be a lawyer. Try reading my brother Ezekhome and you will wonder who nominated him for a SAN.

    • nikoroorire

      The man is a shame to the legal profession and a very dishonest Nigerian. Meanwhile, how did he get his SAN?

  • UMUNKWO

    A constitutional lawyer who doesn’t know the constitution. Effects of trauma from kidnapper’s den.

  • blackdove

    This once respectable lawyer has sold his soul to the devil. Gani will be turning in his grave. Useless man.

  • Reread. Kay

    The one that need to resign is Dumbo Simple ans straight forward

  • larry

    Ozekhome used to be a straight forward man, back in the days of AIT’s kaakaaki, you would always hear the truth from him. In fact my brother and I always love to hear him speak. But little did we know that all those activism was to gain cheap popularity. I am not surprised with what he said. I still wonder how he became a SAN. Such a disgrace to the EDO people.

    • nikoroorire

      In fact, complete disgrace.

    • jfk

      Reuben is a living example from Patito’s Gang. Not surprised at all.

  • vox candide

    This man just lost the respect I ‘ve for him.

  • That is an unfortunate statement from Ozekhome. How many PDP assembly members who had cross carpeted, have resigned

  • Ashibogu

    Don’t mind the man. He has been lobbying to be appointed a Minister as a result of recent resignations. He has been moving all over Abuja. We know why he is taking the position of asking Tambuwal to resign. The Police is guilty of selective integrity. When people defect to PDP they are welcome but when the reverse is the case they are hounded. Ibrahim Gusau, Chairman, House Committee on ICT defected from APC to PDP, he was widely celebrated and still sits in the House yet they are hounding Tambuwal as if he stole Jonathan’s Akpeteshi.

  • Tolex

    You are entitled to your opinion anyway but remember that some younger ones are looking up to you. What will you say to them? I am not surprised by your statement as I have known your body language all along. It is quite a shame!

  • Embee

    Ozekhome the Establishmentarian!

  • Keyamo

    Its so embarassing, you call you’re self a lawyer. Shame on you.

  • Nostory

    Mike must be chased away to the kidnappers’ den

  • Benny25

    Ozekhome is only advertising for a representation, haba if he no shout how he go take get clients, if such event no happen how can they be a redress or you want Mike to be a charge and bail lawyer. Charge and bail lawyers dey ride scrape cars, faded regalia, live in self contain with six months arrears on house rent and dem no get money take buy SAN oooo.

  • This man is so shameless. You did not see anything wrong in the actions of the security personnel taking orders from badluck Jonathan. What kind of lawyer are you?

  • Proud Nigerian

    History has a special place for every person. Mike was a genius. He was a lawyer. He was frank. He is something else NOW.

    • Bunduma Mohammed

      His brain is dead my friend

  • Oladele

    Mike is loosing it. There was no Fracas at the NASS. It was police brutality. There was no reason for them there except to keep the peace and not to ignite violence the way they did. Mike shame on you!

    • Okemute1

      I think those kidnappers did something to his brain.

    • Azuka Osakwe

      Thank you Oladele. Such comment from a ‘constitutional lawyer’ is embarrassing.

  • Smith Scott

    Mike stop talking as if you continue, APC will ask their boys to kidnap you again. They are the owner of the boko, kidnapper and fence jumpers in Nigeria. Anything negative in Nigeria is in their camp. Ameachi – Minister of Private Jet Procurement, Atiku – President of Corruption, Buhari – Islamist Caliphate, Tinubu – the fathers of corrupt Godfathers, Kwakwanso – Minister of Mass Wedding, Elrufai – Minister of Demolishing.

    • Bunduma Mohammed

      and Jonathan the drunken fisherman

  • Mr Mike you didn’t say anything on the action of the executive that bars the legislators from accessing NASS. I guess by you standard that was ok? Let’s continue behaving like the Ostrich, when the shit really hits the fan, it will spread.

  • warry

    The action of the police may not be okay to laymen but i am at a loss as to why the distinguished speaker withdrew his suit against the IGP and the FG,only to physically fight to preside over the house of Reps

    • Bunduma Mohammed

      Is IG reponsible for appointing Speaker?

  • Rommel

    I have never liked the views of this man,this so called human rights crusader easily buckles in the face of tyranny,his credentials appear now to be just for stomach infrastructure,was he not the same man that asked for amnesty for kidnappers? why should the speaker resign? is the police the determinant of what becomes of our legislative arm? or should the executive arm decide who should become speaker,why not ask the IG to resign for peace to rain or that president Jonathan as if he is a patriot should resign to reduce tension in the nation and improve governance? why should this man make such a suggestion?

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    Professionalism does not excuse a man from the repercussion of his chosen actions. In other words you can be a lawyer and still decide what type of cases you wish to be identified with as your logo. Why is Chief Ozekhome always in defense of what is wrong? He championed the persecution of CBN governor Sanusi for raising a voice against massive stealing; he is stoutly defending Farouk Lawan’s bribery scandal and I will not be surprised to see him defending Fayose’s bastardization of the judiciary and legislature in Ekiti State as well. As a SAN, your statements ought to be reference points by law students and other researchers alike. Where is the place of justice and fairplay where some legislators are locked out and some others of the same House are given red carpet treatment in what was supposed to be a single session? Should it be the executive who determines who becomes the Speaker? Who has circumvented morality – is it the one who tricked the Speaker to convene the House under the guise of national emergency only to lay ambush for him or the Speaker who insisted on doing his job? It is in times of controversy that you know who is a true man. Little wonder that you got saved from the den of hard criminals only to launch a campaign of amnesty for them in spite of the unjust mayhem they visit on citizens. With due respect sir, you have taken a wrong course that needs re-examination.