Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the certificates of return it issued to 14 members-elect who are yet to report for inauguration, and give same to its candidates who contested the election.
The party, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Benin, by its spokesperson, Chris Nehikhare, argued that since the affected members-elect have failed/neglected to seat in the House they were elected, they can no longer be inaugurated.
It therefore called on the electoral umpire to invoke the doctrine of necessity and re-issue the certificates of return to its candidates who came second in the election.
According to the Edo PDP “the refusal/neglect by members-elect to subscribe to the Oath of Membership/Allegiance with respect to the affected constituencies throughout the First Session and First Quarters of the 7th Assembly of Edo State amounts to abdication of office.
“The doctrine of necessity is the basis on which extra-legal actions by state actors, which are designed to restore order, are found to be constitutional. It also includes the ability of a private person to violate a law without punishment where the violation of law was necessary to prevent even worse harm.
“The doctrine of necessity has since been applied in a number of Commonwealth countries, and in 2010 was invoked to justify extra-legal actions in Nigeria.
“INEC should in the circumstance, withdraw the affected members’ certificate of return, having failed/neglected to seat in the House they were elected and their constituency having been declared vacant by the Speaker in exercise of his power as vested by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) by which act, the affected members-elect can no longer be inaugurated.
“Sequel to the declaration of the affected Constituencies vacant by the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, INEC should not, in the interest of Justice and Equity, conduct any fresh elections into the affected constituencies as the affected Members-elect did not subscribed to the Oath of Membership/Allegiance and abdicated their responsibilities.
“The certificate of return should be issued to PDP candidates as the 1st Runners up in their various Constituencies, since the members-elect who abdicated their position did not subscribe to the Oath of Membership/Allegiance before their Constituencies were declared vacant by the Speaker in the interest of Justice and Equity.”