Nigerian Senate probes alleged plan to destabilise leadership

By Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate on Thursday resolved to investigate the allegation by Senator Obinna Ogba that some lawmakers planned to destabilise its leadership.

Senator Ogba who sought to substantiate his allegation based on a Point of Order, claimed to possess documented evidence to prove his point. Presenting the evidence during Thursday’s plenary, Senator Ogba accused the lawmakers of mobilising civil society groups and market women to demonstrate against the leadership of the Senate.

Opportunity to raise issues
“I rise to inform this Senate of a plan to destabilise it, including the senate leadership, by organising demonstrations towards which money has been exchanging hands. I believe that all of us are all leaders in this country, and everybody should avoid any action that would destabilise this country.

As we are here, if there is any issue bothering you, you have the opportunity to raise it and not to go outside the chambers to start planning civil organisations and market women to demonstrate agains the leadership of the senate,” he said.

Senator Ogba who urged the Senate to investigate the allegation, said that the matter should not be treated with kid gloves.

“I want this matter to be investigated properly. I have evidence to show what I am saying. There is record of a telephone discussion between Senator Abdullahi Adamu and some other people which every other person can also print out,” he stated.

This is a very serious issue. When Senator Isah Misau raised it in January, we didn’t take it as anything, we must stand up to look into this.

“If we treat it with a wave of the hand, if it eventually happened, Iwould say I already said it.’’

Destabilising this country
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, also reiterated the need to preserve the sanctity of the legislature toward protecting the country’s democracy. Senator Ekweremadu said the difference between military regime, autocratic regime or any other kind of repressive regime and the democratic regime, was the parliament.

According to him, once you remove the parliament, you are going to have problem.“Whatever we do we must continue to preserve the sanctity of the parliament. So I want to stress again that any person interested in destabilising this country is not doing us any good. We have received this information from Ogba, so we will refer it to our committee on petitions to look at it and report back in twoweeks,’’ Ekweremadu said.

Meanwhile, Senator Abdullahi Adamu whose name was mentioned in the allegation, has denied the claims by Senator Ogba, describing the development as “sad but funny.”

In a statement sent across to Senate Correspondents from his home state of Nasarawa, Senator Adamu is optimistic that he would be vindicated at the ethics and public petitions committee’s Probe.

Lateefah Ibrahim