Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Charge 23 former council chairmen for treason, lawmakers tell Fubara


Lawmakers in the House of Representatives under the aegis of G-60, on Tuesday, demanded the trial of 23 former local government chairmen in Rivers State loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister Nyesom Wike, for alleged treason.

The group led by the lawmaker representing Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency in Imo State, Ikenga Ugochinyere, made the demand at a press conference held at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

The lawmakers accused the former council bosses of forcefully trying to retain their seats after the constitutional expiration of their three years in office.

They also called on the Rivers state government to immediately prepare treason charges against the local government chairmen and their sponsors over the committal of the alleged act.

In attendance at the press conference were Aliyu Mustapha (PDP, Kaduna), Matthew Nwogu (LP, Imo) and Midaila Usman(PDP, Borno).

The lawmakers accused the former council chairmen of breaching the provisions of section 37 (1) of the Criminal Code Act, section 39 of the Nigeria Police Act, section 12 of the Criminal Procedure Code, section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code and section 1 (2) of the constitution which frowns at anybody or group of persons that attempts to unlawfully occupy position of power in the country or forcefully attempt to take over government in any part of Nigeria.

This is as the lawmakers called on the judiciary to remain vigilant in curbing the activities of persons desperate to take over institutions of governance in Rivers State or any part of the country.

They also frowned at what they referred to as attempted treason organized by the former local government chairmen who wanted to use magistrates/judges from neighbouring states to conduct a kangaroo swearing-in ceremony around 5 am on Tuesday “Despite the fact that their tenure expired on 17th of this month.

“We applaud Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the citizenry in Rivers state for resisting the attempt by disgruntled elements to take over the administration of local government councils in breach of the law.

“We salute the courage of the Rivers state People who came out boldly to protect the local government and foil the attempt to unlawfully seize the institution of governance by the former chairmen.

“This heroic action is in line with section 20 of the administration of the Criminal Justice Act that empowers citizens to arrest and foil any criminal act being committed in their presence,” Ugochinyere said

Continuing, Ugochinyere noted that “Section 39 of the Nigeria Police Act of 2020 states that “A private person may arrest a suspect in Nigeria who, in his presence, commits an offence or whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence for which the police is entitled to arrest without a warrant”.

“Section 37 Criminal Code Act (1) provides that “Any person who levies war against the State, in order to intimidate or overawe the President or the Governor of a State, is guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death.

“(2) Any person conspiring with any person, either within or without Nigeria, to levy war against the State with intent to cause such levying of war as would be treason if committed by a citizen of Nigeria, is guilty of treason and is liable to the punishment of death:

“Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent any act from being treason which is so by the laws of England as in force in Nigeria.”

The Ugochinyere-led group commended Gov Fubara for being democratic enough to have allowed the former chairmen to complete their three-year tenure without any disruption “Despite the provocative acts carried against him in the last few months.”


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