Senator Orji Uzor Kalu will continue to represent the people of Abia North in the Nigerian Senate despite his conviction by a Federal High Court
The Nigeria Senate confirmed this, saying that it would not declare the seat of its Chief Whip, Senator Kalu, vacant because he still has legal options available for him to explore.
The Federal High Court in Lagos had on Thursday, found the former governor of Abia state guilty of all the 39-count charges of N7.65billion fraud filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Reacting to calls to declare Kalu’s seat vacant, the Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, dismissed such calls.
According to Akwashiki, Orji Uzor Kalu’s seat can only be declared when the former governor had exhausted all his legal options available to him without success.
He said, “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.”