Defection: Plans to Remove Tambuwal Thickens; Presidency Plots His Arrest
Barring any last minute change in plans, the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would convene a meeting in Abuja tomorrow, at the behest of its national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, to discuss issues that may not be unconnected with how to unseat Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This comes as the leadership of the PDP from the North-West zone is also said to be organizing another crucial meeting today (Sunday) with the party’s caucus and its top members in the House of Representatives.
Both meetings are part of the political intrigues and power-play trailing Tambuwal’s defection to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).
Checks revealed that the meeting slated for tomorrow will be a follow-up on a similar one held in the wake of the defection by the House of Representatives’ speaker. Those expected to be in attendance at the crucial meeting are deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, the PDP caucus in the house, as well as all the 205 members elected on the platform of the party.
During consideration in the earlier meeting, party stakeholders in attendance were said to have been requested to return to their drawing boards and come up with suggestions on how best to handle the matter. This was premised on the thinking that a House of Representatives presided by Tambuwal, after reconvening from the five weeks recess, would no longer be working in the interest of the ruling party.
With seven months left to the end of his four-year tenure, the Speaker is currently experiencing his harshest political winter, having come under pressure from his former party, the PDP, to resign his position and vacate his seat as a member of parliament, following his defection to the opposition
Although, there are two cases in court which may be used against the speaker if judgment goes in favour of those challenging the continued stay of 37 members of the House who had earlier defected from the PDP to the APC, but the president is said not taking anything to chance.
Indications that the PDP may opt for court action against Tambuwal emerged on Wednesday when President Goodluck Jonathan met with some governors of the party at the State House to discuss development.
Present at the meeting were PDP national chairman Adamu Mu’azu, governors Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Gabriel Suswam of Benue, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa. Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke was said to have been dragged to the meeting to advise the party on the constitutionality of Tambuwal’s defection and the next line of action.
Another option is that the party may instruct its members in the House to remove the Speaker, since it still maintains the majority. The PDP has 188 members, while APC has 160. But analysts say this may not be feasible because should the PDP opt for an impeachment, it does not have the numbers to do so, as it requires at least 240 members to sign a removal notice and successfully impeach the speaker.
Presidency Plots Speakers Arrest
Just as the plot to remove the speaker by any means possible is being perfected, sources close to the embattled speaker has alleged a plot by the Presidency to have Tambuwal arrested on trumped up charges.
A close associate of the Speaker said yesterday that aside the plot to impeach him the presidency is also lining up charges against Tambuwal that will pave way for his eventual arrest, detention and prosecution.
The source, a ranking member of the parliament, who wouldn’t want his name in print, however, said the Presidency was in a dilemma in carrying out the plot because they couldn’t find any wrongdoing, as Tambuwal was careful not to delve his hands into any corrupt act in the last three years or so.
“We won’t be surprised if the Federal Government carries on with its plot against the speaker; we know that they are desperate and they can go to any length on this. It’s impunity of the highest order but the world is watching and they should know that they will surely be called to account, sooner rather than later,” the source said, adding that the purported plot to arrest Tambuwal on “phantom charges” won’t go anywhere because “the Speaker is clean.”
According to the source, since the incident that led to the arrest and prosecution of former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole at the end of the 6th Assembly, Tambuwal, on assuming duty, didn’t involve himself in the usual award of contracts, thereby making it difficult if not impossible to trace any wrongdoing to him.
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