Senate directs INEC to declare June 12 result

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…as Buhari orders AGF to gazette Abiola’s honours

…Melaye kicks as June 12 causes disagreement in House of Reps

By Ayo Fadimu and Agency Reports

The Senate on Thursday directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare the results of June 12, 1993 presidential election and recognise late chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola former President and Babagana Kingibe as former Vice President.

The Upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to pay all allowances and entitlement to late Abiola’s family and Kingibe.

Although Senator Lanre Tejuosho raised a point of order on the declaration of June 12 as “Democracy Day”, but Senator Biodun Olujinmi, who came on another point of order, demanded that the results of June 12 presidential election should be decorated and Abiola recognised as former President.

According to Olujimi, President Mihammadu Buhari has done well and saluted his courage.

She added: “However, there are issues to be addressed.

“The results of the election should be announced and there has to be reparation to his family.”

Contributing to the point of order, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan; and Senator Suleiman Adokwe commended President Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day.

Leave a comment Breaking: Senate Directs INEC To Announce June 12 Poll Results, Declare Abiola Ex-president†

The Upper chamber also urged the Federal Government to pay all allowances and entitlement to late Abiola’s family and Kingibe.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to gazette his presidential order which declared June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria as well as his conferment of national honours on the presumed winner of the annulled presidential election of 1993, the late Chief MKO Abiola, his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and Activist and Human Rights lawyer, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN.

Spokesman of the president, Mallam Garba Shehu announced the development in a statement Wednesday.

“The President also directed that this should be done so that the awards slated for June 12, 2018 can go on as planned,” the statement added.

However, the Senator representing Kogi West , Dino Melaye, , has said that President Muhammdu Buhari can not confer the honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on on a dead man.

Buhari yesterday had directed that effective from 2019, Nigerian Democracy Day, marked every May 29 for the past 18 years should now be shifted to the June 12. The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday, said this directive was to honuor “an illustrious son of Nigeria, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola” the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election. But Melaye at the Senate on Thursday, said the national honours can only be conferred on an individual when the president receives the recipient in person saying ‘a person shall be eligible for appointment to any rank or holder unless he is a citizen of Nigeria. A dead man is not a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria.’ We should not be emotional about this.’

“I am a democrat, I believe very sincerely that Chief M.K.O Abiola deserve even more than the president has pronounced because he is a true patriot, philanthropist and should be sole decorated. But Mr. President, we are governed in the country by the constitution and extant laws,” the lawmaker said, citing 43(2) of the national honours act “No matter how beautiful a situation is, the law of the land remains the law of the land. Section (2) says ‘ a person shall be eligible for appointment to any rank or holder unless he is a citizen of Nigeria. A dead man is not a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria.’ We should not be emotional about this “The law remains the law. 3(2) subject to the next notice, ‘A person shall be appointed to a particular rank of an order when the president receives him in person.” “Mr. President, they said in person for us to do what we are supposed to do, we would have to amend the provisions of this act because anything we need to do, we have to do in accordance with the provisions of the law,” he said.

In a similar vein, disagreement among lawmakers forced the House of Representatives to step down a motion seeking to commend President Buhari for declaring June 12 as Democracy Day.

This happened after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara  struggled for nearly 20 minutes to contain a rowdy session from deteriorating.

The disagreement ranged from the conflict in the President’s declaration and the Public Holidays Act, to calls by some lawmakers that Buhari should ask the Independent National Electoral Commission to release the full results of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

Some members also demanded that INEC should declare the acclaimed winner of the election, Chief MKO Abiola, as “President-elect.”

Dogara came under pressure to suspend the debate and step down the motion so that all the differences could be reconciled.

The House referred the matter to the Committees of Justice and Rules/Business to look into it and report back within a reasonable time.

The speaker stated, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

“This is the beauty of democracy, which allows everyone to air their views.

“We must not be seen to be taking decisions that will be called to question later. The Public Holidays Act, in the 5th Schedule, lists May 29th as Democracy Day.

“We have to look at this vis-a-vis Section II of the Presidential Proclamation to be properly guided in a passing a resolution on this matter.”

With the ruling, the debate was called off abruptly in a bid to restore order to the House proceedings.

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