Senate begins probe of lawmakers who rejected election re-ordering

Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions is set to begin investigation of 10 Senators who kicked against the chamber’s re-ordering of sequence of elections in 2019.

On February 14, Senate concurred with the House of Representatives to change the order of elections the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier released for the 2019 general elections.

Shortly after the Senate resolution, 10 senators addressed newsmen and public dissented with the chamber’s decision.

They said changing the sequence of elections was specifically targetted at President Muhammadu Buhari, because the presidential election would be held last, with the National Assembly’s new sequence of elections for 2019.

Last week, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege apologised for speaking against the chamber’s resolution.

But, strong indications have emerged that senator Omo-Agege and 9 others maybe suspended for one year.

Sources said, yesterday, that the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions committee, chaired by Samuel Anyanwu, is set to meet on the matter this week.

The sources also said the 10 senators who opposed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2018, “could be placed on one year suspension if the Ethics committee finds them culpable.”

Besides Omo-Agege, others who walked out of the Senate included Abdullahi Adamu, Abu Ibrahim, Benjamin Uwajumogu, Ali Wakil, Abdullahi Gumel, Binta Masi, Yahaya Abdullahi, Andrew Uchendu and Umaru Kurfi.

Following a point of order by Dino Melaye which saw their (the 10 senators) matter referred to the Anyanwu-led Ethics committee, Omo-Agege apologised to the his colleagues.

Despite the apology, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, asked the embattled lawmaker to make his case before the committee.

However, investigations indicated that any indicted senator could be suspended for one year.

Apart from Omo-Agege, Adamu, who was, last week, relieved of his position as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, reportedly turned down the option of apologising to the Senate, at plenary.

He was said to have met with Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the latter reportedly advised him to follow the footsteps of Omo-Agege.

But, in a new twist, some senators in Saraki’s camp linked an alleged impeachment plot against the senate president to the uprising of February 14.

Some senators who declined to be named, revealed that loyalists of the Senate President have decided “to nip the uprising in the bud by dealing a decisive blow to anyone linked to the plot.”

Anyanwu told said, yesterday night, that his committee “will soon fix a date this week.

“Once we do that, we will make it public.”


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