The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress, APC, of inducing senators to impeach Bukola Saraki, the president of the Senate.
The PDP similarly alleged that the government was in the process of forcing the reopening of the Senate, contrary to Section 12 of the Senate Standing Rules.
The Senate is currently on annual recess and is expected to resume session on September 25, to begin legislative business.
But the PDP said the Presidency is offering each lawmaker $1 million to impeach Saraki for defecting from the APC to the PDP.
The Presidency, however, said its call for the National Assembly to resume duties was to enable the federal legislature process the 2019 election budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, a week before the National Assembly proceeded on its annual vacation, submitted a budget of N242 billion for the INEC for the consideration of the lawmakers.
But at a media briefing at its Abuja secretariat on Monday, August 6, the PDP queried the timing of the submission of the INEC budget seven months to the general elections.
Besides, the PDP through Kola Ologbondiyan, the national publicity of the party, said the Presidency has no powers to order or call for the reopening of the National Assembly, as suggested by Ita Enang, the presidential liaison officer for the Senate.
Ologbondiyan said: “What Enang had done is just a mere wish. He does not have the power to order or call for the reopening of the Senate. He is just expressing his personal wishes.
“As a matter of fact, Sen. Ita Enang has been the chairman of the Senate Rules and Business Committee both in the House and in and the Senate. Would he have listened to anybody from outside the chamber to come and dictate to the presiding officers.
“It is unfortunate that people who have experience in legislative practices and procedures, when they get to the executive arm, instead of telling the executive the limit of their powers, they pretend to know it all, and by so doing, they mislead the executives. That is exactly what Enang is doing.
“There are set rules: Section 12 of the Senate Standing Rules puts the opening of the Senate within purview of responsibility of the president of the Senate and the operational word there is “may”; that is if the Senate president is convinced to reopen the Senate.
“We must not allow those who have no respect for laws to take charge of our lives because what they are plotting to do have a huge capacity to create anarchy for the nation.
“This is not a local government parliament, we are talking about our national parliament and some characters are sitting somewhere and dominating ideas that suit their own interests. And they want to use that to subdue what the rules and the laws say. It is totally unacceptable.”
August 6, 2018 @ 1806 GMT|