Senators, Reps give Buhari conditions or be impeached

National Assembly

The fragile relationship between the Presidency and the National Assembly may have collapsed, following yesterday’s emergency joint session of the National Assembly.
The lawmakers issued President Muhammadu Buhari a 10-point condition, otherwise they would “invoke constitutional powers”.

The conditions

Killings should stop
End to harassment and humiliation of lawmakers
Adherence to rule of law
President’s appointees must be held accountable for actions
Anti-corruption battle should not be selective
Prosecution of those who stole senate mace
Lawmakers to take case to international community
Lawmakers to collaborate with Labour CSOs
President must contain unemployment, poverty
Lawmakers won’t hesitate to invoke Constitutional powers
Vote of confidence in Saraki, Dogara
Vote of no confidence on IG Idris

A flurry of activities culminated in yesterday’s session.

On Sunday, the police invited Senate President Bukola Saraki to defend his relationship with the April 5 Offa robbery suspects, who killed 33 people, including nine policemen.
Some of the suspects claimed that they were thugs being used and armed by the Senate president and Kwara State Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed.
On Monday, after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some security chiefs, including Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, Saraki was told to send his explanation within 48 hours without appearing before the police.
Yesterday’s National Assembly joint session was described as an emergency executive session on the state of the nation.
The Senate president, accompanied by House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, read the resolutions.
No timeline was given for compliance with the resolutions.

The resolutions include: “The security agencies must be given marching orders to curtail the sustained killings of Nigerians across the country and protect life and properties of Nigerians as this is the primary duty of any responsible Government.
“The systematic harassment and humiliation by the Executive of perceived political opponents, people with contrary opinions, including Legislators and Judiciary, by the police and other security agencies must stop.
“There must be strict adherence to the Rule of Law and protection for all citizens by the President and his appointees.
“The President must be held accountable for the actions of his appointees and must be ready to sanction those that carry out any act which will ridicule or endanger our country and democracy.
“The Government should show sincerity in the fight against corruption by not being selective and also prosecute current appointees that have cases pending against them.
“The sanctity of the National Assembly should be protected and preserved by the Federal Government of Nigeria by not interfering in its business and prosecuting those who invaded the Senate to seize the mace.

“National Assembly should liaise with International Communities through the IPU, APU, ECOWAS, CPA, Parliament, Pan African Parliament, EU, UN, US Congress and UK Parliament to secure our democracy.
“Democratic elections must be competitive and inclusive by removing the present reign of fear and intimidation particularly as we approach the forthcoming 2019 elections.
“The National Assembly will work closely with Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions and NGOs to further deepen and protect our democracy.
“The President must take immediate steps to contain the growing level of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria, especially now that we have advantage of the oil price having risen to $80 per barrel.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly hereby pass a vote of confidence on the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the entire leadership of the National Assembly.
“We reaffirm our earlier resolution of vote of no confidence on the Inspector General of Police who does nothing other than preside over the killing of innocent Nigerians and consistent framing up of perceived political opponents of the President and outright disregard for constitutional authority, both executive and legislative.

“Finally, the National Assembly will not hesitate to evoke its Constitutional powers if nothing is done to address the above resolutions passed today”.
Signs that all was not well became apparent immediately the Senate reconvened for plenary and went into an Executive Session around 11am.
The closed session ended around 12.30 pm.
Saraki announced after the closed session that they discussed National Assembly and Senate issues in particular.
He added that they resolved to hold a joint executive session with the House of Representatives.
Saraki mandated Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan to move a motion for the Senate to go to the House of Representatives chamber for the emergency joint Executive Session.
Lawan did.
The motion was seconded by Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio.
Members of the upper chamber were also said to have held a “strategic meeting” on Monday night to articulate issues for discussion.
While the Executive Session in the House of Representatives lasted, activities in the National Assembly were grounded.
162 oppose impeachment plan at stormy session
Senate President Bokola Saraki briefed yesterday’s executive session on issues “that are mainly personal” and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara did not speak., according to sources at the session.
An impeachment move against President Muhamadu Buhari was made during the stormy joint session with the circulation of a register. A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member from Kogi State, it was learnt, initiated the impeachment move, which many lawmakers kicked against.
A group of 162 lawmakers from the North, according to Hon.Mohammad Gudaji Kazaure (Jigawa), quickly came together to oppose the impeachment move. Rep Abdulmunini Jibrin (Kano), in a statement on behalf of the pro-Buhari Parliamanetary Support Group (PSP), said commendably, Dogara “tactically refused to make any comment at the session even after the Senate President took time to explain the issues which are mostly personal”.
“That almost all the members and senators that spoke at the Executive session are of the PDP while members of the APC declined joining the discussion to avoid a rowdy confrontation as the entire session could easily pass for a PDP Executive session.
“That it is disturbing and raised many questions of pre determined intentions that a known ally of the Senate President from Kwara State, Hon Rasak Atunwa, drafted what was adopted as the resolution and without voting on it in accordance with standard parliamentary practice.”


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