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Senate jittery over Saraki, Ekweremadu arraignment

Senate jittery over Saraki, Ekweremadu arraignment

The Nigerian Senate is currently in a state of quandary over the arraignment of Senate President and his deputy, Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu respectively.

Their arraignment on Monday for alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders has continued to create unease among senators in Abuja.

In what could best be described as counter-attack formation, the federal lawmakers are firing at random hoping to hit some form of target.

In swift reaction, Senator Ekweremadu wrote to international community and some recognised government including the United Stated and the United Kingdom hoping to elicit some sympathy.

The Senate has also, in another swift move, summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation [AGF], Abubakar Malami to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters tomorrow.

The AGF is expected to explain the rationale behind his decision to charge Saraki and Ekweremadu to court.

The AGF was earlier billed to appear before the committee last Thursday in accordance with the Senate resolution of June 21, 2016, which mandated the committee to summon the AGF.

It could be recalled that Justice Gabriel Kolawole of an Abuja Federal High Court had earlier dismissed the case.

Justice Kolawole stated that the matter should be resolved internally within Senators saying it is an internal issue.

The Senate has forced those loyal to the Senate President and his deputy to dig deep and come up with a strategy to counter the perceived motive of the executive.

Speaking to THISDAY on the issue, a senator from the South-south geo-political zone said: 

“Let me be open with you, the Senate leadership and in fact, majority of the senators are very worried about the motive of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive.

“But for now, the Senate is on break and the President of the Senate has travelled to Saudi Arabia for Umra (lesser Hajj).”

Asked what the senators plan to do to counter the motive of the executive, the senator said a political team had been set up to come up with a plan to counter the purported plot by the executive.

The team is made up of some senators loyal to the leadership of the Senate and some political strategists outside the Senate.

The source added: 

“Maybe President Buhari and his gang have just realised that their plan to use the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to force a change of leadership in the Senate would not fly. 

“So they have decided to come up with this latest plot.

“Right now, there is a near agreement by a majority of us that Buhari has pushed us to the wall, and nobody can predict what would be the reaction of the National Assembly.”

The resolution of the Senate to invite Malami again was the fallout of a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West).

Melaye further said the decision of the AGF to reopen the forgery charge after Justice Gabriel Kolawole had struck out the case was a threat to democracy.

In compliance with the resolution, the Committee on Judiciary summoned the AGF to appear before it on Thursday, June 23.

But following his inability to honour last Thursday’s invitation, the committee rescheduled the meeting for Thursday, June 30 (tomorrow).

The new letter rescheduling the meeting and entitled “Re: Eminent Threat to Our Democracy – Request for Adjournment”, whose receipt was acknowledged by the Office of the AGF yesterday, was signed by the committee chairman, Senator David Umaru.

The letter was dated June 27.

The letter read: “I write with reference to your correspondence on the above subject matter with Ref. HAGF/NASS/2016/Vol. 1/24, dated 23rd June, 2016, whereby you requested for an adjournment of the meeting of the committee, which was supposed to hold on Thursday, 23rd June 2016, to enable you prepare your response.

“The committee has considered your request and having regard to the reason adduced, acceded to the request for an adjournment.

“Accordingly, the meeting is now scheduled to hold on Thursday, 30th June 2016 at noon prompt.

“The venue is Senate meeting room 313, 3rd floor, New Senate building, National Assembly complex. 

“You are by this letter, invited to appear before the committee on the date and time mentioned above. 

“Please, accept the assurances of our highest consideration and esteem.” Play best friv games site.

Should he appear, Malami is likely to be grilled on the apparent conflict of interest arising from his involvement in the forgery case that was dismissed by a Federal High Court, Abuja, slightly less than a year ago prior to his appointment as the AGF.

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