The yr 2018 is not going to be shortly forgotten in a rush so far as the eighth Senate led by its President, Bukola Saraki, is anxious.
The outgoing yr witnessed some controversial moments, some making historical past in legislative enterprise in Nigeria. From mace theft to in-house controversies, beneath are the main ones.
Electoral Modification ‘Focused Buhari’
February 14 is broadly often called lovers’ day world over however there was no Valentine celebration on the Nigerian Senate on this present day.
The lawmakers have been divided over the adoption of a report by the Senate and Home of Representatives Joint Committee on the Modification to the Electoral Act.
The modification sought to re-order the election sequence with the federal lawmakers’ election coming first in 2019, earlier than that of the state lawmakers and state governors, with the final being the presidential election.
The adoption didn’t go down effectively with some senators who accused the Senate President of not permitting them to lend their voices to the controversy. Whereas the plenary was nonetheless on, 10 of them left the chamber to deal with the press, insisting that the sequence change was focused at Mr President. Two senators, Ovie Omo-Agege and Abdullahi Adamu have been extra vocal.
Axing Abdullahi Adamu
Within the northern a part of Nigeria, age and expertise are thought-about a revered attribute however this didn’t play out within the elimination of Abdullahi Adamu as chairman Northern Senators’ Discussion board in February.
The elimination got here every week after Mr Adamu led 9 others to oppose the Senate passage of the modification to the electoral act.
Mr Adamu had questioned the conduct of the Senate president within the passage course of.
He particularly famous that the Senate president didn’t permit a few of his colleagues to speak regardless of indicating so within the debate that led to the adoption.
Mr Saraki had within the chamber mentioned that it was the customized of the Senate to undertake a convention committee report with out questioning.
In a controversial transfer, he was changed by Aliyu Wammako, a former Sokoto State governor.
Maybe, that is essentially the most trended story out of the higher legislative chamber in 2018.
A senator, Shehu Sani (Kaduna-APC), mentioned Mr Adamu’s elimination bordered on monetary mismanagement. He alleged Mr Adamu mismanaged a N70 million belonging to the discussion board.
However Mr Sani didn’t state the apparent in easy phrases. As a substitute, he alleged that about N70 million belonging to the group was claimed to have been carted away by monkeys in a farmhouse. He was subtly referring to Mr Adamu.
Mr Adamu later denied the allegation.
For the very first time in Nigerian historical past, hoodlums invaded the Senate chamber carting away the mace which serves as an emblem of authority within the legislature.
The theft, executed within the full glare of lawmakers, journalists and different observers within the Senate Chamber of the Nationwide Meeting bore the imprints of a safety operation with at the very least two of the attackers figuring out themselves as law enforcement officials.
They entered the chamber with a senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, though the lawmaker has frequently denied being concerned within the incident.
After gaining entrance, one of many hoodlums went straight for the mace, grabbed it and made for the exit.
Within the firm of some others who have been ready with 4 autos, the thugs left the Nationwide Meeting with out being challenged by safety operatives.
The mace was later retrieved at a location near Abuja metropolis gate. No person has been arrested for the incident.
Following suggestions by a committee set as much as examine Mr Omo-Agege’s touch upon election sequence, the lawmaker was suspended for 90 days.
Mr Omo-Agege was among the many 10 senators who left the chamber to deal with the press whereas the plenary was nonetheless on.
He was suspended for accusing his colleagues of working towards President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election
Nonetheless, a choose, Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal Excessive Court docket nullified the suspension of Mr Agege after faulting the choice of the Senate.
Saraki’s Defection Ripples
Following his defection from APC to PDP in August, the Senate President immediately turned an object of doable axing from his opposition colleagues.
Whereas many overtly referred to as for his resignation as Senate president, others have been rumoured to be lobbying the wanted two-thirds to take away him. Whereas this was on, a serious occasion occurred on August 7.
Six days after Mr Saraki’s defection, the Nationwide Meeting was within the early hours of the day cordoned off by officers of the State Safety Companies in an alleged transfer by some senators to take away Mr Saraki.
It was rumoured that APC senators deliberate to disallow opposition senators entrance into the chamber whereas they eliminated the Senate President. This turned out to be partly true.
The SSS operatives for a lot of hours locked out senators and representatives earlier than finally permitting them entrance. The siege was lifted within the afternoon.
The occasion led to the elimination of SSS boss, Lawal Daura, by the then Appearing President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Controversy Over Get together Majority
There was confusion over which occasion controls the bulk within the Senate between APC and PDP on August 5 following the defection of 15 senators from the APC.
The senators, in a joint letter to Mr Saraki, made their intention recognized. With 14 of them becoming a member of the PDP, it turned instantly tough to find out which occasion is almost all on the Senate. Previous to the defection, APC formally had 64 senators whereas the PDP had 42.
With 14 leaving the occasion (for PDP), the moment calculation favoured PDP which might then have 56 as towards APC (50). However this quickly modified as some senators renounced their defection whereas some clarified that they defected to a different occasion aside from PDP.
The state of affairs additionally pressured the Senate Chief, Ahmed Lawan to current a listing to indicate that APC had 52 senators whereas PDP had 50.
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