By Muhammad Saheed
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has revealed that political appointees who refuse to resign before contesting the forthcoming 2023 elections risk rendering the primary election null and void.
Gbajabiamila, in an interview on Thursday, noted that some political appointees, after the Electoral Act that compelled them to resign from their appointive roles, refused to resign before contesting the election.
“There are a number of people who have been mischievous. Some appointees have resigned their appointments to seek election, while there are some who remain obstinate, for want of a better word.
“Under the amended Act, there is a court decision pending that says there is no provision on this, and during our conversation, we have said that the adjudication by the court should not be executed as of yet. Then there has also been an appeal by the National Assembly to set it aside.
“So invariably, it is a personal decision they have to make. Therefore the risk they run at the end of it all, if the court does find that the National Assembly was well within its rights to make such a provision that you are contesting an election while still a political appointee, then you are on a very serious risk of losing your election bid and not only that, you as a person also put the party you belong to at risk,” Gbajabiamila said.
However, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had declared their interest to contest in the 2023 elections and have yet to resign from their positions.