OrderPaperToday – Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti), has accused her colleagues in the All Progressives Congress (APC) of being mischievous in opposing the decision to seek legal interpretation over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.
The red chamber on Monday cancelled it’s decision to reconvene and instead filed a suit at the Supreme Court to determine whether President Muhammadu Buhari acted within his powers under the constitution in suspending the Chief Justice.
But the APC Senators led by majority leader, Ahmad Lawan )APC, Yobe) disowned the court move denying that the senate never had an agreement to challenge President Buhari in court.
Reacting to this development, Senator Olujimi in a statement on Tuesday, said her colleagues in the ruling party are being “mischievous” because such a decision is not subject to debate in plenary.
She said: “I am surprised that a few of my colleagues in the APC Caucus are spreading disinformation that they were not party to the decision to file a case seeking interpretation of the provision of the constitution concerning the President’s decision to suspend the CJN.
“Those who are saying this are just being mischievous. They know such a decision is not meant for debate on the floor of the Senate. It is the prerogative of the presiding officer and in this particular case, majority of the people in Senate leadership suggested and supported the idea. There is no precedent of when decision on whether to resort to court is referred to the plenary. And there are several cases that the Senate has been and is still involved in.
“Incidentally, those our colleagues in the APC who are spreading this dis-information are those who have been in the Senate for many years and they know the rules, conventions and practices. That is why I consider their current position as mischievous.”
She added: “What do they stand to lose in our seeking judicial interpretation of the law? I believe as democrats and law makers, it should be our interest to strengthen the law and support the independence of the judiciary. This recourse to the Supreme Court will only strengthen our understanding of the law and clear ambiguities about the provision of the constitution which we all swore to protect.
“It has always been my position that Nigeria is greater than any person or party. Therefore, as legislators, we should always take position in the interest of the country and not allow partisan, party, group or individual interest to push us into taking a stand that will be counter to national interest.
“As members of the Eighth Senate, we have always agreed among ourselves to stand for Nigeria even when it is against the preference of our party. My colleagues in the APC caucus should return to this agreement. It is Onnoghen today, it may be somebody else tomorrow.”