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Monday, 22 May 2017

Saraki’s refusal to swear in Senator ridiculous, contemptuous – Ex-Chief Judge

Saraki’s refusal to swear in Senator ridiculous, contemptuous – Ex-Chief Judge

A former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Samuel Omotunde Ilori, has dismissed as “ridiculous, untenable and contemptuous,” the refusal by Senate President, Bukola Saraki to swear in Bassey Etim as senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District as ordered by a competent court of law.

A Federal high court sitting in Uyo had booted out Bassey Albert Akpan from the National Assembly, relying on the point that Akpan was not the valid and bonafide candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which won the 2015 general election for the Akwa Ibom North East senatorial seat.

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Besides, the court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to retrieve the certificate of return earlier issued to Akpan and issue a fresh one to the newly declared senator-elect, Bassey Etim, to enable him proceed to the senate for his swearing-in.

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INEC had since complied with the court order as it issued the certificate of return to Bassey Etim.

But the Senate President had not inaugurated Bassey Etim to begin to perform the functions of his office.

In his reaction, the judge warned that Saraki is not at liberty to seek advice on a positive order of the court.

“It is unbelievable that the senate president would say that he needed legal advice before he could obey a positive judgment of a court”, Daily Trust quoted him as saying.

His lordship said he would not believe that Saraki actually put up such defence for refusing to swear in Bassey Etim.

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Justice Ilori added that it would be scandalous and most embarrassing if indeed that was Dr Bukola Saraki’s position.

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