•Cracks in Senate widens
From Fred Itua, Abuja
The ongoing war between the presidency and the Senate, yesterday, got messier, as the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal and four ministers, shunned summons extended to them by the Upper Legislative Chamber.
Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama; and Mr. Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications, were billed to appear before various committees of the Senate.
The Senate, had on Tuesday, summoned the AGF to appear before it yesterday, to explain why a legal action was instituted against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, over claims that they forged the Senate Standing Rules of 2015.
This followed a motion brought under matter of urgent public importance by Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West).
Malami was billed to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, while Lawal and Onyeama were summoned to clarify grey areas in the list of ambassadorial nominees recently sent to the Senate for screening and onward confirmation.
Meanwhile, 16 senators who are members of the factional All Progressives Congress (APC) Unity Forum, yesterday, announced that they were solidly behind President Buhari, 24 hours after their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterparts said they were withdrawing their support for the president.
Addressing a press conference after a closed door meeting, Senate Minority Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, said they were fully backing the anti-corruption war of the president.
“We are shocked at the totally partisan reaction of our colleagues from the minority party, PDP, to the on-going investigations and recovery of public funds meant for the prosecution of the war against insurgency. Contrary to the assertion of our PDP colleagues, the investigation is not a partisan war against a particular political party.”