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Saraki, Dogara survive impeachment threat

Saraki, Dogara survive impeachment threat - the senate president, the senate, senate president bukola, Senate president, Saraki, impeachment, Dogara

Olisemeka Obeche

The , Bukola and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yaku­bu , successfully presided over the affairs of the upper and lower chambers of the national assembly on Tuesday, surviving the plot allegedly being hatched by lawmakers of the ruling All Progressives Con­gress (APC).

and House of Rep­resentatives suspended their sitting barely an hour after re­sumption from their annual re­cess which lasted for 10 weeks to honour Funke Adedoyin, a house member who died after a brief illness last Friday in Abuja.

After an opening prayer led by , the lawmakers quickly went into an executive session. After the closed-door session, the read out some letters from President Mu­hammadu Buhari.

Coming under Order 43 of ’s standing order, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, thereaf­ter, asked to observe a minute silence in honour of the deceased.

He also asked the Senate to suspend plenary for the day in line with the ‘tradition of the National Assembly.’

The lawmakers adopted the two motions after a voice vote. The plenary was adjourned at 12:19 p.m.

The House of Representatives also observed similar tradition following a motion for adjourn­ment moved by House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, in honour of the lawmaker who represent­ed Irepodun Isin/ Ekiti /Oke Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara State.

That both chambers conduct­ed the legislative business of the day without battle was a huge relief to many observers who had been antici­pating a feisty resumption.

It would be recalled that the National Assembly had em­barked on its annual recess on July 24 amidst controversies of defection and preparation for party primaries. It was sched­uled to resume on September 25 but was postponed to October 9 amidst growing tension between the lawmakers of the ruling part and those on the opposing bench.

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Before the recess, a power play had ensued when the official res­idence of , Bukola Saraki and Deputy Sen­ate President, Ike Ekweremadu, were sealed off by security oper­atives, allegedly on the orders of the executive, in what Saraki said was an attempt to stymie the day’s NASS plenary, in order to prevent the defection.

The federal legislature, has been restive ever since, culmi­nating in the invasion of its premises by operatives of the Department of the State Ser­vices (DSS).

The invasion led to the sack­ing of DSS Director General, La­wan Daura, by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Since the national assembly proceeded on recess, the nation­al leadership of the All Progres­sives Congress (APC) led by Ad­ams Oshiohmole had declared its intention to dethrone Saraki and as Senate president and speaker of House of Repre­sentatives, respectively for their defection to the People’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP).

APC lawmakers were report­edly schooled on how to carry out swift impeachment of the leadership of both chambers as soon as the national assembly resume plenary to enable the ruling party regain leadership of the parliament.

In what has been interpreted in some quarters as a gimmick to carry out the expected on­slaught, the APC lawmakers have been calling for the reopen­ing of the NASS on the grounds that some of the critical legisla­tions, including the passage of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), without which next year’s election, could be threat­ened, remained pending.

Two weeks ago, when the as­sembly was supposed to re-open, a statement came from its man­agement, shifting plenary to Oc­tober 9 (today), to enable mem­bers participate fully in their individual party primaries to select candidates for the various elections next year.

The Presidency, has however, been quoted as trying to calm frayed nerves, in welcoming the lawmakers back, urging them to immediately hit the ground run­ning in dealing with the critical legislations.

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Presidential Liaison Officer to NASS, Ita Enang, was quoted as conveying the sentiments of Buhari to the lawmakers, while welcoming them back by saying: “Let me congratulate the Sen­ate president, the speaker, all presiding and principal officers and all the distinguished sena­tors and honourable members of the House for a well-deserved annual legislative vacation and welcome them back to work. I congratulate all of them and I pray that let the result, positive, favourable or otherwise, not af­fect the way they will consider the nation’s business.

“Let them please appreciate that they are senators and hon­ourable members of the Nation­al Assembly and the constitution entrusts the duty on them and they should please exercise this duty with the greatest show of patriotism,” he said.

Citing the President’s request on the Supplementary Budget to provide for the INEC and other sources of funding still before them, Enang said since almost all the political parties had com­pleted their exercises, “we are appealing to them to please con­sider this budget expeditiously and pass it so that the nation’s electoral process can move for­ward,” adding that they also needed to consider the Elector­al Amendment Bill that would ensure the proper mode and method of conducting the 2019 elections.

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