Fred Itua and Godwin Tsa Abuja
The European Union Election Observer Mission to Nigeria is to present its final report and recommendations to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan today.
The EU Mission in a letter addressed to Lawan by Ketil Kalsen on behalf of the delegation of the European Union to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), wrote: “I write to congratulate you on your election as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I would like to use this opportunity to request a meeting for the European Union Election Observation Mission to the recent general elections.
“The EOM is back in Nigeria for the purpose of presenting the final report and recommendations arising from the general elections. I have the honour of proposing the meeting on Tuesday 18thJune 2019.
“The purpose of the meeting would be to present a copy of the report and recommendations of the EU Observer Mission to you as we work with Nigerian authorities and all stakeholders to begin a conversation on how to continue to improve electoral administration in Nigeria.
“We also look forward to use the opportunity to begin to engage with your good self and offices on the wider EU support to the National Assembly on a range of issues including but not limited to institutional building.
“We are mindful that our letter has not made provision for alternative timings and dates. This is because the Mission has planned many meetings and activities, and plans to return to Europe on June 20. We therefore plead for you indulgence.”
Meanwhile, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, yesterday, said the ninth Senate will implement the ‘Next Level’ agenda of the All Progressives Congress-led (APC) Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Omo-Agege said the Senate will flow with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda and ensure that Nigerians benefit from the dividends of democracy.
He also declared that he has no malice or ill feelings against any of his colleagues over what transpired in the last Senate, adding that, that Senate was history and that the focus now for all serving senators is how to improve the wellbeing and welfare of ordinary Nigerians through required legislative interventions.
“I begrudge nobody over any issue in the last Senate. Even the election that brought me in, as Deputy President of the ninth Senate last week, has closed the chapter of that assembly as far as partisan issues were concerned.
“At inauguration on the day of the election, there were 62 APC senators, 44 PDP and one YPP. It means that the 68 votes I got, cut across party lines.
“With such bipartisan or multi partisan confidence reposed in one, the era of partisanship is gone. I will assist the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in making the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly one that will benefit all Nigerians,” Omo-Agege said.
In a related development, a Federal High Court has fixed July 3, 2019 to hear the suit filed by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume against the Clerk of the National Assembly and that of the Senate over the use of the open ballot system in the election of the principal officers of the Senate.
The Sergeant At Arms of the Senate is also joined as respondent in the suit which is pending before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja division of the court.
In the originating summons marked FHC/ABJ /CS/649/2019, Senator Ndume who was a top contender for the position of the Senate President, is praying the court for an order setting aside the purported proclamation by the Senate adopting the open ballot system of voting for the selection, election or nomination of its principal members contrary to the extant standing order 2015 (as amended).
When the matter came up for mention on Monday, there was no legal representation for both parties to suit.
Accordingly, Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to July 3 for mention.