Pro-Saraki Senators Threatens Buhari With Impeachment
SOME senators are threatening to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the plot, The Nation learnt, are senators loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.
They are angry that Saraki and Ekweremadu have been put on trial for alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 (as amended), which they described as an “internal affair” of the Upper Chamber.
They yesterday demanded the suspension of the senators who went to court on the alleged forgery of the Rules, having been fingered as those behind the travails of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
They protested against the refusal of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on June 30.
The aggrieved senators asked the chamber to issue a warrant of arrest against the AGF to compel him to appear before the Senate.
They asked the Executive to choose between “dialogue and the jugular” which was later interpreted by a senator to mean “impeachment”.
But members of the Unity Forum, who are opposed to Saraki’s and Ekweremadu’s leadership of the Senate, asked their colleagues to explore dialogue instead of nursing an impeachment move against the president.
They said with the intervention of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, it would be better to extend another invitation to Malami.
The Nation learnt that the senators were at daggers drawn yesterday at their Executive Session.
It was gathered that a brief by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, David Umar, sparked the tension.
Umar explained how the AGF was summoned twice but he “ignored” the Senate committee, which he described as “disrespectful and an affront”.
He said although Malami sent a Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution attached to the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, to represent him, that was rejected.
After Umar briefing, tempers rose at the Executive Session over the alleged “contemptuous attitude of the AGF”.
Senators Isa Misau, Dino Melaye, Jibrin Barau and Monsurat Sunmonu condemned the AGF’s attitude.
They said it was obvious that “the Presidency is fighting the Senate with the disrespect for the chamber by the AGF”.
A source quoted Misau as saying: “The Executive should toe the path of dialogue or else the Senate will go for the jugular.”
A member of the Unity Forum asked: “What is the meaning of the jugular? Tell us; we don’t know what you mean.”
An enraged Misau said: “Impeachment, of course.”
Sen. Dino Melaye said: “the sacredness” of the Senate should be protected against “the recklessness” by some members of the Executive, such as the AGF.
Melaye reportedly led the campaign for sanctions against the AGF, including a warrant of arrest because “Malami is not above the law”.
Said a source: “Melaye did not mince words in demanding the suspension of all the senators behind the petition to the police and those who filed a suit in court on the Standing Rules 2015 (as amended).
“And for no just cause, Melaye openly attacked Sen. Oluremi Tinubu who has earned the respect of most Senators.”
The over one hour Executive session was said to have been reduced by Melaye to a session to rain abuses and unprintable words on Saraki’s perceived enemies.
Another source said Melaye ignited uproar after Saraki told at the Executive session that he was taken to court when the Senate was on recess.
The insider said immediately after Saraki’s explanation, Melaye demanded that those behind the petition should stand up and disown the petition or risk suspension.
Melaye, it was said, insisted that Senator Kabiru Marafa and Senator Sulaiman Hunkuyi should be suspended if they failed to disown the petition and apologise to the Senate.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu was said to have asked why Melaye should always be given the floor at every closed-session to threaten other Senators.
The Lagos Central lawmaker was said to have reminded her colleagues that they all represent their various Senatorial Districts and that there was no reason for anybody to be threatened.
At this point, Melaye was said to have unprintable words on Senator Tinubu.
Not content with unrestrained insult he was said to have heaped on his colleague, the Kogi Senator was said to have sprang from his seat and was charging toward Senator Tinubu until he was blocked by some Senators.
It was gathered that attempts to calm Maleye failed as he continued to call Senator Tinubu names.
Some Senators were said to have blamed Saraki for Melaye’s behaviour.
Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) was said to have referred the Senate to the Senator James Manager’s peace and reconciliation committee which recommended certain steps to achieve peace in the chamber.
Another source said: “Apparently, some senators held a meeting on Monday and planned to suspend those who went to court on the emergence of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
“The mood at the Executive Session made them to stay action because they knew it would not work at all. To get the number was a bit difficult for them.”
Some of the senators in court are Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kabir Marafa, Abu Ibrahim, Ajayi Borrofice and Olugbenga Ashafa.
According to investigation, intervention of Sen. Barnabas Gemade, who spoke with enormous wisdom, saved the day.
Gemade said: “Instead of the Senate going for the jugular, we should look for ways of dialoguing on all the issues at hand.
“We had earlier set up a committee on reconciliation in this chamber and I am aware the committee got to an appreciable level. Why can’t we resolve all other outstanding differences?”
Based on Gemade’s “emotional” appeal, the Senate resolved to:
- dismiss the impeachment advisory against Buhari and other drastic measures;
- stay action on suspension of some senators;
- stop the planned issuance of a warrant of arrest against the AGF;
- give the AGF another chance by re-inviting him to appear before the Senate Committee; and to
- set up a committee headed by Sen. David Mark to resolve all outstanding differences among senators
A senator said: “We were all happy that a former President of the Senate, Chief David Mark, will now head a committee to iron out all outstanding differences among senators.
“Before we left the session, Senators also reconciled Sen. Tinubu and Dino Melaye. We said there was no basis for losing our cool when we have all worked together as a team.?”