The People’s Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives has raised alarm over plot by pro-government senators in collaboration with security agencies to invade the red chamber and reconvene plenary today (Tuesday).
The caucus alleged that the planned plenary which will be under the guise of addressing urgent National issues is aimed at changing the leadership of the Senate.
This is contained in a statement made available to press men by the minority leader of the House, Hon. Chukwudi Onyema yesterday.
The caucus while condemning the alleged plot at desecrating the Parliament, also decried what he described as disregard of the rule of law and separation of powers by the APC administration.
The statement reads, “It has our attention that there is an impending plot by a small group of senators aided by security agencies to again invaded the Senate Chamber with a view illegally reconvening the Senate Plenary.
“Ostensibly there purpose is to address what they term as urgent national issues. However, it is clear that their real purpose is an attempt to unlawfully oust the leadership of the Senate and effect a change of the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President.
“This trend of events must be strenuously resisted by all true democrats and well meaning Nigerians. We have over time witnessed a descent of our countries once stable democracy slide into an abyss of illiberal dictatorship. A government that has shown disdain for the rule of law, and complete disregard for the principles of separation of powers as enshrine in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As elected representatives sworn to uphold the law and protect our democratic existence we unreservedly condemn this onslaught on our democratic ideals in general and parliament particular”.
Onyema noted that “the procedure for reconvening the the National Assembly is unambiguously stated in the Rules of both Houses of the National Assembly. These Rules draw their constitutionality from section 60 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“When the National Assembly stands adjourned to a fixed date, it may only be reconvened at an earlier or later date when the Leaders of the political parties in the National Assembly make a written representation to the PRESIDING OFFICERS stating that there is a need to convene plenary to attend to matters of urgent national importance. In such an event, the Presiding Officer MAY give notice to members of a date that the National Assembly is to reconvene.
“In the present instance, there has been no such notification to either the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Therefore any attempt to operate outside of the rules is illegal. It is symbolic of the hideous excesses of this Governments attempt to wither and destroy the institution of parliament and the bastion of our democracy.
“We urge those who are behind the unholy manoeuvre to desist from these shenanigans and be reminded that we still operate a democracy. It is therefore incumbent on all of us as Nigerians to jealousy guard our hard earned democracy”, he stated.
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