The presidency has set up a panel to review the report by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, on the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
In the report, which he sent to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, the IGP described the blockade of the National Assembly by the DSS officials as gross violation of the Nigerian Constitution.
Idris who accused the former DSS boss of working for some politicians in the country for selfish interest did not mention the names of the politicians Daura was working for.
He said Daura had in his confessional statement confessed to have being the brain behind the illegal siege of the National Assembly complex on the claims that he was working on intelligence reports that some persons were trying to smuggle arms and other dangerous weapons into the complex.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered yesterday that Acting President Osinbajo has directed that a panel be set up to look into the report with a view to ascertaining the authenticity or otherwise of Daura’s claim.
But Senate president Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday raised the alarm that the presidency was was planning to frame them up and their colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the IGP’s report on Tuesday’s invasion of the premises of the National Assembly by DSS operatives.
In a joint statement signed by their media aides, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Uche Anichukwu, the two Senate top shots stated that after receiving the interim report submitted by the IGP, the presidency yesterday constituted a closet panel to review the report and submit a final recommendation.
The mandate of this closet panel, the two legislators stated, is to turn facts on their head and blame the invasion of the National Assembly on the two leaders of the red chamber who would then be presented as having worked in tandem with the sacked DSS boss, Daura, to orchestrate the parliamentary security breach.
The statement read in part: “We have been reliably informed that instead of the Presidency to set up a public inquiry or judicial commission to probe last Tuesday’s early morning invasion of the National Assembly as being demanded by the general public, they have commenced a process of manipulation and fabrication.
“The Presidency has set up a closet panel which would work to a predetermined conclusion in which they will now claim that the Senate president and the deputy Senate president worked in collusion with ex-DG of DSS, Lawal Daura, to stage the invasion.
“They want to shield the fact that the previous night before the invasion and up until the early hours of Tuesday, there was a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators and that the plan was for them to be moved in a Coaster bus into the National Assembly complex later that morning for them to purportedly remove us and select a new Senate president and deputy Senate president.
“Their plot only failed because the media, particularly social media, Nigerians and the international community responded very swiftly as some legislators who came into the complex were refused entry by gun-wielding, hooded security operatives.
“Now, they want to turn the facts on their head and blame us for their botched plot against democracy. We are hereby alerting all Nigerians and members of the international community that the present Nigerian government will stop at nothing to destroy, suppress and incapacitate the opposition. This is their new tactic and plot as we approach the period of the 2019 polls.”
The two Senate leaders insisted that the DSS blockade of the federal legislative house amounted to a coup against democracy and must be probed through an independent judicial commission of inquiry, which will produce a comprehensive report.
“We reject any manipulated and fabricated investigation,” Saraki and Ekweremadu stated.
They further revealed that they have also uncovered a sinister plot in which the government planned to use anti-graft and security agencies to incarcerate them and some members of their families from next week, all in a bid to break their will and effect their removal from office.
…His Days Are Over – Oshiomhole
Meanwhile, the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle, has declared that the incumbent Senate president, Bukola Saraki, can no longer hold on to his position, adding that he will be impeached according to the law.
Oshiomhole also revealed that the APC under his leadership would do everything possible to ensure that Senator Saraki is defeated even in his senatorial election in Kwara in 2019.
Addressing a news conference yesterday in Abuja in response to the earlier world press conference Saraki addressed on Wednesday, Oshiomhole noted that even before Saraki defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his leadership of the Senate had programmed itself to frustrate President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to turn around the fortunes of the country.
He then insisted that Saraki would be removed as Senate president.
“Saraki’s time is over as Senate president. If he (Saraki) thinks that by saying that he will preempt the APC from having him impeached, he is deceiving himself. I think that the time of Saraki is over. The way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara State, he failed to understand that the Nigerian project is far more complicated than being at the mercy of his own dynasty.
“He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a senator in his own senatorial zone come 2019 by the people of Kwara State who are fed up with Saraki,” the APC chairman stated, adding that Saraki was not as popular in his domain as people thought.
“Go and check the results of the elections that made him a senator and you will find out that the president got more votes from Kwara Central than Saraki got for himself. So, he can’t claim that the vote the APC got from his senatorial zone was because of him; and that is why his defection from APC is of no political consequence as far as electoral issues are concerned.
We tried to talk to him, not out of fear, but out of conviction that as a presiding officer, there are rules of engagement and we didn’t want him to get so emotional as to affect those rules of engagement.”
Oshiomhole went on to list instances the Senate president had frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
He said: “So, when I said he has never put the interest of Nigeria first, I support this statement by reference to the deliberate delay of the budget and deliberate manipulation of the provisions in the budget in a way that will compromise the capacity of the government to address critical infrastructure.
“It is no longer a secret that as Senate president, he tried to conspire with others to create a semblance of division within the ruling party, having failed to truncate the convention, when they assembled a handful of people who were neither delegates nor contestants for any office at the convention to purport to have formed a political party.”
He stressed the urged need for the Senate to reconvene and approve the supplementary budget for the conduct of next year’s general election.
“Between Tuesday and Thursday, the Senate was expected to discuss the supplementary budget for INEC. INEC requirements are not things that you buy from the shelf. You have to order them from the manufacturers and so time is of the essence. But the Senate under Saraki adjourned without considering the matters before it, including the budget for INEC.
“So, if Saraki adjourned the Senate ahead of schedule to resume towards the end of nominations, can that act be said to coincide with national interest? If you decide to frustrate INEC by denying it the funds that it requires, can you be said to be a defender of democracy? If INEC doesn’t get its funds and therefore is unable to conduct credible elections, will that not lead to further consequences for our democracy?” Oshiomhole asked.
…You lack the number to remove him – PDP
In response to Oshiomhole’s threat to get Saraki impeached, the PDP yesterday told the Presidency and the APC that they lack the required constitutional facilities to either impeach or call for the resignation of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
The PDP further claimed that the Buhari Presidency and the APC, after realising that there was no way they could muster the constitutionally required two-thirds majority votes of the 109 senators (73 senators), resorted to underhand tactics, including disgraceful the invasion of the National Assembly.
The opposition party warned the presidency and the ruling party against over-heating the polity, and noted that even APC senators were averse to the tactics deployed to remove the leadership of the Senate.
A statement by the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, asserted that even before the invasion, Nigerians were already aware of moves to use humongous funds to induce lawmakers to trigger a crisis in the National Assembly to pave the way for the removal of presiding officers.
“Now that they have discovered that there is no way they can achieve their devious intentions, they have commenced a war of blackmail, distortions of facts and media trial against the Senate leadership, which, of course, will end up as another wasteful venture, as Nigerians are aware of the long-drawn desperation of the Buhari Presidency to annex the legislature.
“Even among the ranks of the depleted APC senators and members of the House of Representatives, there is a huge aversion to the underhand tactics being deployed by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to force out duly elected presiding officers of the National Assembly.
“As such, such lawmakers are fully aligned with Nigerians, the PDP and the National Assembly leadership in the protection of the independence, sanctity and integrity of our parliament and all democratic institutions in our land.
“It is therefore instructive for both the Buhari Presidency and the APC to know that there is no way they can remove the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the Senate.
“Consequently, the PDP cautions the Buhari Presidency and the APC to stop overheating the polity with their outbursts and shed future perverse attempts to circumvent our rules and constitution, as such will not help them or change the resolve of Nigerians to vote them out in 2019,” the party stated.
Saraki Hits Back At Oshiomhole
In a swift reaction to the remarks by the APC national chairman, Senate President Saraki expressed shock that Mr. Oshiomhole was behaving like a rain-beaten chicken.
According to him, Oshiomhole is crying all over the place as if the Senate president is the apparition haunting his life and the sinking ship that he captains.
A statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate president, Yusuph Olaniyonu, noted: “Having decided not to join the pigs in rolling in the dirt; we would not like to be involved in any meaningless exchange with the demagogue now in charge of APC.
“However, because he claimed that he was reacting to the issues raised by the Senate President during his World Press Conference, we thought it necessary to give the APC chairman some attention.
“Alas, we found that instead of addressing any issue raised by the Senate President, his press conference merely showcased his obsession and those of his sponsors with Saraki’s removal, which he did without any decorum befitting of his age or his awarded office. He brimmed with hate, hurled abuses, threw tantrums, told lies, huffed, puffed. In the end, he said nothing.
“It is indeed amazing that the same Oshiomhole, who is now describing Saraki as a politician of no consequence was the same one who only a few months ago was crawling all over the place pleading for Saraki’s support to become chairman. We are sure that those who took him to Saraki several times to plead his case must now be thoroughly embarrassed by his reckless and uncouth manner.
“By his conduct and utterances, Oshiomhole, who accused Saraki of not acting in national interest needs to do more to convince Nigerians that his desperate desire to become party chairman is not simply to feed his over-sized ego.
The position of Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the APC that the Senate President must resign is a mere wishful thinking. They will continue to dream about their planned removal of the Senate President. They will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove Dr. Saraki and they will never get that in the present eight Senate.
“The argument of APC that the Senate President must come from a majority party; that the Senate Presidency is their crown and National Assembly is their palace is only supported by ignorance and dangerous delusion. First, the issue of which party is in the majority will only be resolved when the Senate resume. Two, Section 50 (1) (a) of the constitution is clear that any Senator can be elected as Senate President. If the only thing left of the APC change agenda is to change the Senate President we can only wish them good luck”.
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