Thursday, 21 April 2016


The Senate rose from a two-hour closed door session on Wednesday, to announce the formation of a committee to midwife unity among the senators.

The Senate also said that the committee would review the composition of the standing committees as established by Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to ensure the sanctity of ranking, as well as review the Senate leadership positions to ensure “equity and justice.”

Rising from the session, which was suggested by Senator Hope Uzodinma, after raising Senate Standing orders 42 and 43, the Senate resolved to suspend work on the planned amendment of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct (CCT) Acts.

Senator Uzodinma (PDP, Imo East) had raised the Point of Order, asking that the Senate to discuss certain critical issues at the session.

He said the Senate was being wrongly perceived by some members of the public, adding that the chamber should not shy away from discussing issues wrongly perceived by the public.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the sitting, put the question as to whether everyone was in agreement with the motion by Senator Uzodinma, and with no one raising objection, the lawmakers went into closed session.

After the session, which lasted about two hours, Senator Ekweremadu announced to the chamber that it was agreed that the Senate should be united and that the lawmakers would set up a committee to entrench the unity.

He also said the lawmakers agreed to suspend the deliberation on the amendment of the CCB/ CCT Acts and also suspend debate on the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public petitions, which had recommended the suspension of the spokesman of the Senate Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa.

The chamber also agreed to suspend the planned amendment of the administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Marafa had been accused of attempting to drag the Senate in the mud, by making uncomplimentary statements in the media.

Besides the 12-member committee, two members from each geopolitical zone will also review the leadership structure of the Senate in line with “equity and justice.”

In that regard, all senators, who have taken the Senate to court over one issue or the other, are requested to withdraw those cases, such that the Senate could regain its robust image.

Senator Ekweremadu announced that the senators, at the closed session, agreed to stand by Senate President, Saraki, in his trial at the CCT, adding that the Senate was of the view that the Senate President was innocent until proven guilty.

The Senate said the decision to stand by Saraki was in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic and democratic practices all over the world, like South Africa, Brazil and Russia.

The Senate agreed that the committee of 12, to be made up of two senators from each geopolitical zone,  would enhance reconciliation, adding that those who had sued the Senate should consider withdrawing the cases, as part of the reconciliation.

The committee of 12, set up to restructure the Senate, includes Senators Godswill Akpabio and James Manager (South-South);  Senators Sani Yerima and Suleiman Hunkunyi (North-West); Senators Buka Abba Ibrahim and Jodhua Idani (North-East); South-East is to be represented by Senators Sam Egwu, Hope Uzodinma, the North-Central will be represented by Barnabas Gemade and Abdullahi Adamu, while the South-West is to be represented by Senators Monsurat Sunmonu and Gbenga Ashafa.

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