There are still stormy days in the Senate as the Unity Forum has gone to court to annul the election of Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The Senate Unity Forum is loyal to Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, who is also the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Senate President.
It was learnt that the Forum has instituted a case at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking, among others, annulment of the Tuesday, June 9, election of Saraki and Ekweremadu on the premise that the Senate Standing Orders used on that day was “a forgery.”
In the build-up to the case in court, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, representing Kaduna North senatorial district, petitioned the Police on the alleged forgery.
Consequently, Ekweremadu, key staff of the Committee on Rules and Business, as well as the head of the National Assembly’s Directorate of Legal Services, were all questioned on their alleged roles in the matter.
The case however, suffered a slight hiccup on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, where the case was instituted. Details were finally perfected on Thursday, July 16.
It was gathered that the Forum is insisting before the court that a cursory reading of the Votes and Proceedings of the entire Seventh Senate and the Hansards did not reflect an amendment of the Senate Standing Orders.
“Former chairman of the Rules and Business Committee was the first to be invited by the Police and he has given a statement washing his hands off the amendments… The whole election of June 9 was a fraud; it should be annulled.
“You cannot build on something that doesn’t exist.”
A source close to the Forum disclosed that no amendment was carried out “and the Saraki leadership know this. It’s now a moral burden on them because those in charge of the rules know what they did… They should come out and tell Nigerians where, when and who sponsored the rules change.”
In another development, it gathered that “in 2014, the Committee on Rules and Business did propose 30 amendments to the Senate rules which the leadership knew about and those proposed amendments of the Senate Standing Orders were laid on the table in the chamber. But, the leadership then, in its wisdom, didn’t see it through…”
Regardless, a National Assembly source dismissed the Forum’s case in court, adding that the Senate, as an institution, was never dissolved, and that it was only a session that ended in the first week of last month.
“It was only plenary that was adjourned sine die on Thursday, June 4… There was never a time there was no Senate… and if we agree that there was a Senate before the proclamation of a new Senate on June 9, why are members of the Forum crying wolf where there’s none?” he said.