The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, explained why the upper legislative chamber declined public pressure to declare Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s seat vacant during the period of his incarceration.
The ex-Abia State governor was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for money laundering on December 5 last year.
He, however, regained his freedom in June after the Supreme Court quashed his conviction and ordered a fresh trial on the matter.
Lawan, who stated this when leaders of thought from Abia State paid him a courtesy visit, said what the Senate did by preserving Kalu’s seat and his position was not extra-ordinary but the right and just thing to do.
According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate president, Ola Awoniyi, the Abia leaders of thought were at the National Assembly to thank the Senate and its leadership for showing their concerns for Kalu during his incarceration.
Lawan said: “There was no way anybody could convince us in the Senate that somebody should take the Abia North Seat because it wasn’t vacant.
“He (Kalu) was on several appeals and until he exhausted all the opportunities available to him, that seat remained his seat.
“Similarly the position of the Chief Whip, we didn’t even appoint an acting Chief Whip. The Deputy Chief Whip continued to play that role until he was released.
“We came under pressure, of course. But we thought the right thing to do was to keep that seat, that position until he was able to get his judgement.”
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