The Senate says it will not declare Orji Uzo Kalu’s seat vacant till he has explored all legal optiins. This follows calls on the leadership of the Senate to declare his seat vacan.
The Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said it is not possible.
Akwashiki argued that the constitution of Nigeria does not mandate the Senate President to unilaterally declare the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted by a lower court, vacant.
“The Senate has no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.
“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.
“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.
“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law.
“Tell those who are canvassing such things that there is nothing like that, it is a non-issue,” the Senate spokesperson added.
Responding to a question on whether Kalu will continue to receive salaries while in prison, Akwashiki said the management of the Federal Parliament would determine that.