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The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, has been given 24 hours to arrest and prosecute the 27 lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly for defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
A civil society organization, CSO, Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy, said those who defected are no longer members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, hence should be arrested and prosecuted.
The Centre said the lawmakers committed the offence of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony with their action.
In an open letter addressed to the IGP dated December 12, 2023, the Centre vowed to ensure that the 27 lawmakers are prosecuted if Egbetokun fails to heed its call.
The letter signed by the Centre’s Legal Adviser, Kalu Kalu Agu reads: “We are a non-governmental organization that is committed to good governance in accordance with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and best practices in democratic norms.
“Arising from our commitment to our core objective we hereby demand for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the twenty-seven (27) former members of the Rivers State House of Assembly that defected to APC for the offences of:
“Conspiracy to commit treasonable felony.
“Our findings reveal the following facts as reasonable grounds to suspect that the said twenty-seven former members of the House of Assembly should be prosecuted of the offences:
“The said 27 former members are still parading themselves as members of the said House of Assembly when they are no longer members by virtue of express provisions of the 1999 Constitution and decided cases.
“The said 27 former members, being ordinary citizens, and no longer entitled to sit in the hallowed chambers of the House of Assembly created by the 1999 Constitution are still holding deliberations as such members with the intent, by their decisions and conduct, is to enter the chambers of the House and conduct proceedings with a view to passing resolutions on the affairs of the Government of Rivers State.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby demand that you initiate, and overtly do so, the arrest and prosecution of the said 27 people within 24 hours from the receipt of this letter.
“Take notice that if you fail to heed the demand herein made within twenty-four hours of the receipt of this letter, we shall take appropriate action to ensure that the 27 suspects are prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“We do hope wise counsel will prevail.”
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