Section 68 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution as altered, merely prohibits carpet crossing or defection from the original sponsoring political party to another. Where that happens, a member of the Senate or House of Representatives is to vacate his seat. Though the Speaker, Tambuwal has decamped from PDP to APC, he has not yet been pronounced upon as having lost his seat in the House. For now, it is presumptuous. Even at that, we should rise above the level of petty politics and do the right thing by not desecrating our institutions and the quintessence of our democratic culture through actions that call to question the institutions of the Nigeria Police and the National Assembly. Tambuwal remains the speaker of the House, at least till December 3, when the House resumes Plenary. He has not been impeached. He remains the number four (4) person in Nigeria. He therefore deserves full complement of security, not because of his person as an ordinary Nigerian, but as the Speaker of the lower House, the 4th person in order of protocol.
If the speaker can show that his defection is as a result of a division in PDP, or that PDP has lost its identity because of its merger with another Political party, he will be excused by the proviso to Section 68 (1) (g) of the Constitution. For now, the Police should immediately restore his security aids without much ado.
Chief Mike A. A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb
Constitutional lawyer and Human Rights Activist
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