By Lizzy Ikuru
Port Harcourt – Sen. Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers South-East Senatorial District) has described as ceremonial the swearing-in of lawmakers into the Assembly, saying it is not constitutional.
Abe made the remark in a news briefing in Port Harcourt on Thursday evening while reacting to non-swearing in of APC lawmakers in the state Assembly.
He explained that because swearing-in was not a constitutional requirement for the assumption of duty for lawmakers in Nigeria, APC lawmakers could still assume their duties whether sworn in or not.
“Let me say to Nigerians that the President of the Senate, Speakers of the House of Representatives and Assembly are elected by lawmakers who have not been sworn-in by anybody.
”And that election is valid because the constitution already recognises them as lawmakers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria based on their return in the election.
“It is after the President of the Senate or whoever is elected to preside over the House is elected that he in turn swears-in every other member but they are already members before the swearing-in.
“If he chooses not to swear them in, that cannot invalidate their membership of the House,” he explained.
Abe, however, described as an ”injustice” the alleged threat issued by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly not to swear-in elected APC lawmakers.
“Whether he (Speaker of the assembly) swears in APC lawmakers or not, they will go into the Assembly and take part in deliberations at the floor of the house.
”This is because the speaker has no right to sit as a tribunal over the return of any legislator,” he said.
Abe said that he would put in place an all-inclusive policy by ensuring that the people of his zone, irrespective of political affiliation, are well represented at the National Assembly.
He assured the people of Andoni Local Government Area of continued inclusion despite the level of political crises experienced in the area during the election.
“I want to state clearly that I have a very special relationship with the Andoni people; in previous tenure I enjoyed overwhelming support from the area and I impacted in the region too. I’m still determined to continue to serve them,” he said.