Okpara, Ayiyi Lawyers say Saraki's election indicates godfatherism can be checkmated

A legal practitioner said that those who believe that Saraki was not properly elected are wrong.

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki. play

Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

(Premium Times)
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Some lawyers in Lagos on Saturday, June 13, said the emergence of the new leadership of the National Assembly shows that Nigerians could take right decisions through voting, without political godfatherism.

They spoke in interviews with NAN in Lagos against the backdrop of the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the new Senate President.

Saraki was elected unopposed as the president of the eighth Senate against Sen. Ahmed Lawan, who was the choice of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was elected while some other elected APC members of the Senate were waiting at the International Conference Centre to attend a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Also, Yakubu Dogara was elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives against Femi Gbajabiamila, who was the choice of the APC.

They emerged as leaders of the National Assembly on June 9 against the directives of the party which had earlier asked its members to vote for Lawan and Gbajabiamila.

A legal practitioner who works with the City of Law Chambers, Ikeja, Lagos, Chibuikem Okpara, said that Saraki’s emergence shows democracy as growing in the country.

“What played out at the floor of the National Assembly on June 9 was an indication that Nigeria democracy is moving in the right direction,” Okpara said

He said that those who believe that Saraki was not properly elected are wrong.

“A quorum was formed during the election of the new senate president and the trend of voting shows that senators were not influenced by any godfather,” Okpara said.

Also speaking, Chris Ayiyi, said, “political godfatherism should be totally avoided in Nigerian politics to enable the nation’s democracy to grow.

He also said that the controversy that Saraki was not duly elected was ``a misconception of those who did not understand the procedure involved during such elections’’.

Ayiyi, who works as a Principal Officer in Ayiyi Chambers, Apapa, Lagos, said since there was no court order stopping such election, it was duly conducted by one-third majority as stipulated by law.

Another lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, said that the law requirement for such election is that a simple majority shall be present.

"The issue of two-third majority being present is only required during the removal of such officer,” Ofoegbu said.

The APC had, after the emergence of Saraki and Dogara, been unhappy with the duo for not following the party directives and expressed reservations about how they emerged.

The party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Friday, however, gave indication that the party had accepted Saraki as the President of the Senate.

He said that the reality is that Saraki’s colleagues have duly elected him and the party is "ready to live with the reality’’.