Lagos based human rights lawyer, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa was among the Nigerians who urged all members of the National Assembly to uniformly reject the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to take over their responsibilities through mock election.
He had described the action as a booby trap that would blow them terrible wind in the near future, should they kowtow to this ‘mind-bending undemocratic tendency’.
The national leadership of the APC had on Saturday, June 6, 2015, gathered together in Abuja, purporting to elect those to lead the 8th National Assembly.
At the end of the mock election, Gbajabiamila and Senator Ahmed Lawan, emerged as candidates for Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate, respectively.
According to Adegboruwa, the action was nothing but a mockery of democracy, for a political party, claiming progressive ideology, to be conducting an electoral exercise that is not backed by any law in existence.
He said: “Neither in the APC Constitution, nor in the Electoral Act, and indeed the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is there any provision for election, by way of primaries, for the leadership of the National Assembly. One cannot but wonder where the APC got the idea of a mock election, to determine the leadership of the National Assembly. “Our conducts must be valid, legal and sustainable, or we go back to the same culture of impunity that we have all chosen to depart from. The APC cannot just wake up one day to be conducting a mock election that has no legal backing whatsoever.
“In this regard, section 50(1) (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution is instructive. 50(1): “There shall be: (A) A President and a Deputy President of the Senate, who shall be elected by the members of that House, from among themselves; and (B) A Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall be elected by the members of that House from among themselves.”
He pointed out that in all other elections in Nigeria, there are statutory provisions, especially in the Electoral Act, guiding the conduct of primaries and a procedure stipulated for such primaries.
“In the primaries for all the recent elections for instance, representatives of INEC were present to monitor the primaries. The Constitution has not made any provision for the conduct of primaries or mock election for the leadership of the National Assembly, and political parties have no direct role to play in such elections. This is meant to guarantee the independence of the legislature and give room for quality debates and sound law making.