Senator Ahmed Lawan
Senator Ahmed Lawan led-faction of senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have hinted that they will file a lawsuit to challenge the process that elected Senator Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, the senators who were absent at Tuesday’s inaugural session of the Senate because they were at the International Conference Centre to attend a meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari, said they would explore all political and legal means to reverse the election of Saraki.
Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue), a spokesman for the Lawan group, Unity Forum, who addressed journalists after the aggrieved senators were sworn in by Senate President Saraki Wednesday, described as “unacceptable” the electoral process that saw Saraki and two members of the minority PDP emerge Deputy Senate President and Leader of the Senate.
Gemade, who was in the company of at least 23 APC senators, said the aim of the press conference was to correct conflicting reports about events that occurred Tuesday at the Senate.
“For the record, we wish to present the following for clarification… ” he stated.
“We received an invitation through the office of the national chairman of our party, the APC, which indicated the request of Mr. President to have a brief meeting with all the APC elected senators and the House of Representatives members at the International Conference Centre (ICC) before the inauguration of the national assembly at 10 am.
The insinuation in some quarters that we boycotted election is totally unfounded. As loyal party members, we would take all necessary political and legal means to strengthen our democracy and democratic process in line with the change that we promised our teaming supporters during our campaign.
In our effort to meet up with the time for the inauguration, we rushed to honour the invitation of Mr. President and while at the conference centre, news filtered to us that the clerk of the national assembly had started the process of election of the senate president in our absence.
This process, which remains unconstitutional, cannot confer legitimacy on the elected senate president. Our right to participate in the election of the senate president is a constitutional right, which cannot be taken by any person or group of persons.
The clerk of the national assembly, knowing full well that the quorum for election of the senate president had not been met, went ahead to conduct an election that shuts the door to about 53 other senators, which would remain unacceptable until what would meet democratic parameters is done.”
Meanwhile, the Saraki group, which goes by the name “Senators of Like Minds”, defended the election of the new Senate President saying his election was legal.
Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi), who spoke on behalf of the group, which also has members of the PDP in its fold, blamed the absentee APC senators for the election of minority senators as Deputy Senate President and Leader of the Senate.
According to The Will Nigeria who had previously reported that the Saraki group in the APC formed an unholy deal with PDP senators for their support. Part of the deal was that the PDP would get the Deputy Senate and Senate Leader positions. Several committee positions were also included in the deal for the PDP.
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