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Lawyers Slam Tambuwal On Planned Defection

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, Nigeria's House of Representatives

Nigerian lawyers were united Sunday in condemning the speculated move by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal to defect from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the opposition All Peoples Congress, APC.

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, Nigeria's House of Representatives

Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, Nigeria’s House of Representatives

Media reports during the week indicated that Tambuwal was set to decamp to the opposition party alongside 15 other lawmakers to give APC the majority membership it requires to constitute the leadership of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.

But yesterday, lawyers that spoke to our correspondent held that the body language of Tambuwal so far raises questions as to whether he is a true lawmaker or a lawbreaker. They concluded that for a lawyer of his ilk, Tambuwal ought to tread with caution.

Abuja-based lawyer, Esther Uzoma did not mince words in underscoring the foregoing. She said; “First let me start with a quote by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book The Prince “…men willingly change their ruler, expecting to fare better, this expectation induces them to take up arms against him but they only deceive themselves, and they learn from experience that they have made matters worse..”

“Today the political opium that the political class is sniffing is the illusion that the removal of GEJ will usher an utopia in Nigeria.” The influence of this have occasioned exodus from the ruling party but regrettably all is propelled by the need to preserve self and consolidate their seat in power.

“Today, Hon. Tambuwal ‘s role as the beautiful bride is suspect because he is married but finds other suitors attractive and is in fact cavorting with them right from her husband’s house… this is unbecoming. It is expected that the rule of law and respect for legal processes should be obey by all particularly lawyers who are lawmakers. Hon. Tambuwal is a man of honour; he will not do things inimical to his reputation.

“Generally speaking, taking steps that negate or derogate from a court order is contemptuous and the law is not helpless to protect its
prophecies and oracles.”

Her Lagos based colleague, Barrister Gerald Eguaroje added, “on a moral ground, he is in order but legally, it may be otherwise.”

Kano-based Barrister Mohammed Hassan’s reaction ended on a cautionary note. He said; “the Constitution says you cannot cross-carpet to another party while you were elected under another political party. If you do so you will lose your seat, provided that your party has no division in its leadership. The issue now is whether or not the PDP has a break-up in its leadership. However we cannot conclude on Tambuwal’s move given that there is an appeal on the case.”

The nation was taken aback in the New Year when news of Tambuwal’s impending defection to APC broke. Not many believed it with many wondering if the Speaker was not aware enough on the far-reaching implications of his defecting from the PDP given the plethora of
rulings on the matter.

For instance, the Independent National Electoral Commission in October 2013 refused to recognize the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The commission in a letter with reference number INEC /LEG/PDP/19/111.25 dated October 2, 2013 and signed by the Acting Secretary of the Commission, U.F Usman insisted on the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the authentic leadership of the National Working Committee of the party.

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