Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang has risen in defence of Governor Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom to remain in office despite the ruling of the state governorship election petition tribunal cancelling elections in 18 of the 31 councils of the state.
The judgment, which has elicited calls from the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC for Emmanuel to vacate office as according to them the result of the 13 remaining councils “makes him ineligible to remain as governor of the state.
But Enang, also a chieftain of the APC in an interview with newsmen in Uyo yesterday said calls for the governor to vacate office were immature until the case is determined in the Appeal or Supreme Court.
The Senior Special Assistant who was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree award by the Governing Council of the University of Uyo at its 21st Convocation ceremony last weekend explained that the calls could have been legitimate if Emmanuel had not been sworn in as governor.
“The Constitution states that for one to be governor, he must have one-quarter of the vote in at least two-third of all the local governments. In Akwa Ibom, two-third out of 31local governments is 21 local governments. Therefore if 18 local governments are cancelled that election is cancelled because he does not have two-third to enable him be the governor; but as at now he has been sworn into office.
“I was part of those that made the constitution and I always say that I will not play politics with the truth. I have not told anybody that Udom Emmanuel cannot be the governor of the state so that somebody cannot go on streets to say vacate.
“Without the governor who will be the chief security officer of the state, direct the affairs of the state and relate with the President. But right now the election stands annulled, it stands nullified, until after the appeal.
“The election has been challenged in the law court because he does not have two-third; but that is a matter the Appeal Court will determine or otherwise I will not say a thing that I will contradict myself.
“Udom Emmanuel is the governor of Akwa Ibom State because there must be a governor until an appeal is determined by Appeal or Supreme Court or unless he fails to appeal against the judgment,” Enang stressed.
He also defended the Senate’s decision to clear the former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi and others for appointment into the Federal Executive Council of President Muhammadu Buhari following criticisms against his screening on corruption allegations.
Enang maintained that such criticisms held no water in the screening exercise arguing that the Senate had found no defect during the screening of the ministerial nominees or dissenting voice as rules and principles guiding such screening were applied by the Senate.
“The Senate screened and cleared all the ministerial nominees, any issue that arose were treated and attended to and the Senate found at the plenary no defect so everybody was cleared.
“When question was put whether Amaechi should be cleared was there any dissenting voice? If there was dissenting voice you will say that there was a defect, but there was no dissenting voice, the mace being symbol of authority was there and quorum formed, the President and Deputy President of Senate were there and the other Senators,” he said.
Enang equally hinted that he was pursuing the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) having contributed extensively in the process of law making in the country.
He explained that he has made his submission to the relevant bodies including the Appeal and Privilege Committee, the Chief Justice of the Federation and the Nigeria Bar Association.
“If a lawyer practices law and he practices it well he is rewarded with SAN for his contribution to the development of the law; a judge writes well in the court and that judgment is deliberated to the Supreme Court, a teacher teaches the law well, he is made a professor of law; then I who made the law is qualified to be assessed of what I do for the rank of SAN,” he stated.

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