Akpabio swears in Lalong, declares Umahi, Giadam seats vacant

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Wednesday, swore in a former governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, as the senator to represent Plateau South Senatorial District.

Lalong of the All Progressives Congress replaced Napoleon Bali of the Peoples Democratic Party, whose election was on November 7, 2023, nullified by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The court declared that Lalong was the valid winner of the February 25 senatorial poll.

On Tuesday, Lalong, who was a member of President Bola Tinubu, formally resigned as Minister of Labour Employment and Productivity to take up the senatorial slot.

He took the oath of office at about 11.57 am on Wednesday on the floor of the Senate, with the Senate President  congratulating him

Speaking soon after his inauguration, Lalong said he actually wanted to be a senator after he concluded his tenure as governor in May 2023.

 “This was my first choice, to be candid,” he said.

According to him, he opted to hold the position of a minister in the interim and on the invitation of Tinubu because he had a case he was pursuing at the courts.

Lalong promised to do his best to serve his electorate to the best of his abilities.

Also reacting to the inauguration, the National Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, described it as a moment of happiness.

“This is a moment of happiness. We are so happy that he won at the Court of Appeal. What Nigerians will expect is good legislation. As we know, the APC has the majority and will work for the prosperity of all Nigerians,”  Ganduje said.

Meanwhile, the  President of the Senate also, on Wednesday, declared the senatorial seats for Ebonyi-South and Yobe East vacant.

The Ebonyi-South seat was formerly occupied by former governor Dave Umahi, who is now the Minister of Works in Tinubu’s cabinet.

Also, the Yobe East senatorial seat became vacant after Ibrahim Giadam took up  Tinubu’s offer to serve as the Minister of Police Affairs.

Akpabio said he declared the two senatorial seats vacant in accordance with Section 68 (1)(d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to commence the process of conducting by-elections to fill up the two vacant seats.


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