…protest at National Assembly
Scores of youths on Tuesday stormed the National Assembly to protest the continued absence of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from the country’s parliament.
The protesting youths urged the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to declare Kalu’s seat vacant.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, his firm, Slok Nigeria Ltd and a former director of finance at the Abia State Government House, Jones Udeogu, were in December last year, convicted and sentenced for N7.1bn fraud.
Justice Mohammed Idris, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench, had returned to the Federal High Court in Lagos to complete the case, which started in 2007.
Brandishing a petition addressed to the Senate President, the leader of the group, Chukwudi Chukwu, claimed that the protesters were from the five local government areas under the Abia North Senatorial District.
The petition partly reads, “We formally notify Your Excellency of the absence of our Senator, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, from the Senate.
“The conviction and incarceration of the senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu leading to his long absence from the National Assembly has effectively silenced our voices.
“Abia North constituents have no representation in the nation’s highest deliberative body and cannot participate in matters that affect them.
“Citizens in Abia North Senatorial District have every cause to feel abandoned, angry, less optimistic about their future because they have no representation in the Senate.
“Democracy thrives and is significantly enriched when citizens participate in the process, and can speak through their elected representative.
“Denying citizens the right to be represented inspires disaffection and provokes contempt for both the legislative body and the democratic process.
“More fundamentally, it does grave violence to the democratic imperatives of representation.