NGO Writes Bayelsa House of Assembly Speaker to Declare Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 Seat Vacant

A non-governmental organization known as Patriotism Advancement and Community Orientation Network (PACON) has written to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, urging the Speaker to declare the seat of the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 vacant in the House.

PACON, through its Solicitor, Ebikebuna Augustine Aluzu, Esq., is asking the Speaker to invoke his powers under Section 109 (1)(b) of the Constitution to declare the seat of Hon. Monday-Bobou Edwin Obolo, member, representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 vacant on the basis that there are no independent candidates or elected officials as it is never the contemplation of the Constitution.

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The letter reads in part:

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“We are Solicitors to Patriotism Advancement and community orientation network (our client), a registered Incorporated Trustee under Part C of the Company and Allied Matters Act, LFN, 2004 whose membership spreads across the country including Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 and on whose firm instruction we write you.

“Mr Speaker, you will recall that sometimes in the month of August 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission issued a Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of Bayelsa West and East Senatorial Bye-election.

“Sequel to the release of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a political party with members in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly through its National Working Committee set up a Screening Committee to screen Aspirants vying for the office of a member of the Senate.

“The member, representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, Hon. Monday-Bobou Edwin Obolo subjected himself to be screened by the Committee and he was initially disqualified on the basis that he is not a member of PDP and not having a valid membership card of the party. We have attached the report of the screening committee.

“The implication of that report is that the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2 in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly does not have a membership card of PDP and has never been a member of the party or any other political party as we have been misled to believe that he is a PDP member since he was first elected into the House sometimes in 2012 or so.

“The concomitant effect is that the seat is amenable to be declared vacant pursuant to section 109 (1) (b) of the constitution 1999 (as amended) and under the inherent powers of the office of the Speaker to so declare as there are no independent candidates or members of the House who do not belong to or was sponsored by a political party.

“Based on the foregoing, We are of the view that there has arisen a situation whereby the member representing Southern Ijaw constituency 2 would not have been able to contest the election in the first place into the House of Assembly were he not a member of the House already. Mr Speaker, that is the implication if section 109 (1) (b) of the Constitution is ready in community with section 106 (d) of the same Constitution.

“Mr Speaker, we submit and urge you with respect that in the absence of any reasonable explanation as to why the member who occupies a position by virtue of purportedly being a member of a political party will be allowed to occupy that same position even when the party has openly voiced out that the member was never their member as he does not even have a membership card to show based on the attached report we have forwarded for your kind perusal. Such a person, in the interest of justice cannot be allowed to continue to enjoy the office he ascended to by illegal means and continue to be serviced with tax-payers money.

“We submit further that it will be hostile to reason, equity, and good conscience to allow Hon. Monday-Bobou Edwin Obolo continues to enjoy the benefits of the office which he currently occupies as though he is a member of a political party which sponsored him into that office. That will tantamount to allowing the member benefit from his illegality. Such can only happen in a morally bankrupt House and we believe that the 6th Assembly under your leadership will not tolerate such brazen show of moral bankruptcy and integrity deficiency.

“May we register the fact that our client is an apolitical organization that is only concerned with promoting the ethos of good governance, accountability, community development and citizen participation in governance and whose active participation in governance has given them the impetus to write you.

“We have our client’s firm instruction to file an action in court to compel you to so do if you fail to do within 3-days of your receipt of this letter inclusive of the day this letter is received by you.”

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