In a significant political development the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, announced the immediate vacancy of two parliamentary seats belonging to Tunji Olubunmi-Ojo and Tanko Sununu.
This move follows their recent appointments as ministers by President Bola Tinubu. Speaker Abbas made this critical declaration during the House of Representatives plenary session on Tuesday.
The action was prompted by the formal submission of separate letters of resignation by the two former lawmakers, thereby signaling the end of their legislative careers.
Prior to their appointments, Tunji Olubunmi-Ojo represented the Akoko Northeast and Northwest Federal Constituency of Ondo State in the House of Representatives, while Tanko Sununu served as the House of Representatives member representing the Yari/Shanga/Ngaski federal constituency of Kebbi State.
President Bola Tinubu, in exercising his executive powers, appointed Olubunmi-Ojo as the Minister of Interior and Sununu as the Minister of Education. These appointments are seen as a testament to their competence and dedication to public service.
The decision to declare the seats vacant aligns with the provisions of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states:
(1) A member of the Senate or the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if – he becomes President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor, or a Minister of the Government of the Federation or a Commissioner of the Government of a State or a Special Adviser.
This constitutional provision emphasizes the need for members of the legislature to relinquish their seats when called upon to serve in higher offices within the government.
The declaration of these seats as vacant marks the commencement of a by-election process to fill the vacancies left by Olubunmi-Ojo and Sununu. This development has set the stage for a keenly watched political contest in both Ondo and Kebbi States.