OrderPaperToday – Activities at the Senate during the week were woven around the 3-hour joint executive session of the Senate and House of Representatives which raised impeachment threats against President Buhari. The declaration of June 12 as democracy day, confirmation of presidential nominees, bills activities and probe of Amnesty International Report on abuse in IDP camps all contributed to define this outgone week for the red chamber.
A joint session, impeachment threats and confirmation drama
The National Assembly for the first time held a joint executive session on the heightened tension around Senate President Bukola Saraki. The session which lasted for over 3 hours resolved on 12 demands on President Muhammadu Buhari including for him to curtail appointees who have gone on an attacking spree of political opponents, removal of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and tough actions on the unabating insecurity across the country.
On another wave length, the nomination of Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati as Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was confirmed. Also confirmed were Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) nominees and the reversal of one nominee, Monday Tom, due to a pending petition against him. Senator Kabir Marafa was angered that a REC nominee for his Zamfara State was rejected severally because of indigeneship. But his obstinacy on the matter made his colleagues confirm the nominee, Mr. Ahmed Mahmud.
Amnesty Int’l report, anti-grazing law and PIGB
Senator Shehu Sani moved a motion on the report of Amnesty International which detailed acts of abuse and molestation allegedly meted out to women in IDP camps by the soldiers. Although the report has been dismissed by the presidency and the army, the senate resolved to look into it. Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, was called out by the Senate for his call that states withdraw the anti open grazing law recently passed.
In another breadth, the red chamber marked the World’s Environment day by asking the federal government to increase tax on plastics in order to stop its usage which is perceived as harmful. Meanwhile, the conference report on PIGB was approved following some errors identified by the National Assembly’s legal team. It is set to be transmitted for assent.
The declaration of June 12 as the new democracy by President Buhari and the conferment of honours on late Chief M.K.O Abiola sparked diverse debates from Senators. The Senate held that INEC should release the results of the 1993 elections to validate that Abiola actually won it and that entitlements due to Abiola and his running mate, Baba Gana Kinigbe be given to their families. They also insisted that the date of inauguration, May 29, must not be changed unless amendments are made and June 12 be endorsed as public holiday. The National Assembly declared a one month recess for itself as it ended activities for the week.