Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
More facts have emerged on the alleged gang-up against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and other principal officers of the legislative chamber.
We have reliably gathered that there is indeed a group of senators in the All Progressives Congress caucus who are loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari and are bent on defending him on the controversial amendment to the Electoral Act 2010.
We had exclusively reported that both the Senate and the House of Representatives were set to override Buhari should he fail or refuse to assent to the bill, but the intention did not go down well with lawmakers loyal to the President, who felt it would be an “insult” to him if overridden by the National Assembly.
Adoption of the report by the Senate and House of Representatives’ Conference Committee on the Amendment to the Electoral Act had caused a sharp division in the ranks of the All Progressives Congress caucus in the Senate.
The conference committee had approved a new Section 25 in the Electoral Act which states that the sequence of the elections will commence with the National Assembly poll, to be followed by the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, while the presidential poll will come last.
The Senate had adopted the report by the committee, which generated controversy.
Saraki had also blocked protests by three senators against the passage, leading to 10 APC members storming out of the chamber.
The senators were Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa-West), Abu Ibrahim (Katsina-North), Abdullahi Gumel (Jigawa-North), Ali Wakili (Bauchi-South), Binta Masi Garba (Adamawa-North), Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta-Central), Umar Kurfi (Katsina-Central), Andrew Uchendu (Rivers-East), Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo-North), and Abdullahi Yahaya (Kebbi-North).
The crisis became dramatic when the Senate resolved to query Omo-Agege, based on a petition by Senator Dino Melaye, for saying the amendment was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari, while the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions was mandated to carry out a probe into the claim.
Omo-Agege had, however, raised a point of order at the plenary to apologise to the chamber and withdrew his comment.Read more.
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja