By Olusegun Lawrence Nigeria’s Speaker of House Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal Tuesday stepped down for his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha as new House Speaker.
The decision by Tambuwal to step down as House Speaker was to avoid constitutional crisis having being elected Governor of Sokoto state, north-west Nigeria.
He will be inaugurated on May 29 while his position as House Speaker lasted till June 6. With this decision, the imminent constitutional crisis of taking oath of office for two separate offices has been avoided.
According to him, the 1999 Constitution does not envisage a situation where the House Speaker will leave one office for another, while the oath taken for the current one is subsisting.
“My stay here in the House would have effectively come to a end on May 29 after I would have been inaugurated as governor.
“We have to avoid any possible issues on this, since the constitution is silent on what happens when a sitting speaker has to move to another office,” he added.
However, he noted that under the Standing Orders of the House, a Speaker Pro-tempore was required to be elected by members to run the House for any period the substantive Speaker would not be available.
He however explained that the extant case was different because he would not return as House Speaker anymore.
“At our executive session, a member came up with an ingenious way of dealing with the matter on hand, which members accepted.
“He came up with the idea that the portion of the House rules in question should be suspended to enable the deputy speaker to continue to preside over the House instead of electing a new speaker.
“I won’t shut down the House. The House can sit tomorrow, Thursday and possibly the other sitting days of next week,” he said.