The Senate on Tuesday stated that contrary to reports about purported division in the upper chamber, that the Senate remains United and focused in the discharge
of its mandate.
[Image: Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki]
The Senate also described as baseless and unfounded allegations that the invitation of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions was masterminded by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Chairman, Senate’s ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye in a statement on behalf of the Senate made available to reporters in Abuja, said the allegations were the handiwork of enemies of the 8th Senate.
Melaye said: “The attention of the Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Publicity has been drawn to media reports to the extent that the Senate is allegedly divided over the invitation of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC], Ibrahim Lamorde, by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
“This Office wishes to state categorically that the allegation is false and that it could only have emanated from the imagination of those who do not want the 8th Senate to succeed.
“The Committee also wishes to state that the Senate will not be blackmailed into abandoning its constitutional mandate which includes but not limited to investigating any issue brought before it,” he stated.
He stated further that for the avoidance of doubt, Order 103 of the Senate Standing Orders specifically states that “In the exercise of the powers conferred on the National Assembly by Section 88 and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Senate shall have power to direct or cause to be directed an investigation into any matter.”
He added: “We wish to equally state that attempts to undermine the Senate’s summon on the basis that the petition in question was sent through a senator rather to the Senate is rather begging the question as petitions to the Senate can either be sent to the Senate President directly or through individual Senators for onward presentation to the Senate.
“In this instance, the petitioner, George Uboh, sent his petition through the Senator representing his district, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) who in turn delivered it to the Office of the Senate President.
“Moreover, there can be no controversy as to how a communication from members of the public through their representatives should be tendered before the Senate because Order 25(c) of the Senate Standing Orders makes it abundantly clears that “he (Senate President) shall receive all communications addressed to the Senate.”
“Needless to say that it is a normal parliamentary practice the world over for the Senate President after receiving a communication to forward it to the relevant committee for necessary legislative work, whether the Senate is in session or not.
“Although, the Senate is not in session, it had made it clear that some of its critical committees will continue to carry out their necessary functions without hindrance.
“Furthermore, the Senate wishes to state that allegations that the petitioner was allegedly sponsored by the President of Senate are totally false as it is unfounded, satanic, ungodly, callous, myopic, and a figment of the imagination of those out to promote division in the Senate.
“It should be noted that there are other petitions calling for the investigation of the Comptroller-General of Customs and Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services. In fact, invitation had been extended to the FIRS boss before the recent leadership in the agency. So, the logical question arising from this is: Is the Senate President also the one who instigated the petition against these agencies and their heads? For what purpose?
“However, these agents of division who are sponsoring stories to undermine the Senate and its leadership shall not succeed because the 8th Senate under the leadership of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki remains United and focused on its commitment to bring about desired change in all aspect of our national life.
“Therefore, it will not be distracted or derailed by baseless allegations which can only find traction in idle minds,” he stated.
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