Constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over its decision not to conduct bye-elections into three Senate seats that became vacant.
Naija News reports that three seats became vacant about four months ago following the resignation of the lawmakers occupying them.
The vacant seats are Nasarawa West Senatorial District, Borno North Senatorial District, and Zamfara Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
The seats were declared vacant following the emergence of Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Abubakar Kyari as the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman (North) of the All Progressives Congress respectively on March 26.
While Senator Muhammad Hassan Nasiha resigned on March 1 after he was named as the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State.
In an interview with The Punch on Tuesday, Ozekhome said INEC does not have any reason whatsoever not to conduct by-elections for the vacant Senatorial seats.
He said that the denial of the Senatorial district’s representation amounted to great injustice and infringement on their legitimate rights.
He said, “It’s inexcusable, egregious and politically unwise. Senators are direct representatives of the people, hence three senatorial zones are created per state by the constitution. There are 109 Senators in Nigeria. Aside from effective representation of their people, Senators also play crucial oversight roles in accordance with Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution.
“They are also important in attracting constituency projects to their constituents and also in stabilizing their political parties in terms of voting numbers, whether in achieving one-third or two-third majority votes.”