*Claim Presidency got INEC budget since February
By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) have alleged fresh plots by the Presidency to use security agencies and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to “invite, arrest and detain” the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
The PDP said it was inundated with convincing facts that pressure from the Presidency for the reconvening of the Senate had sinister motives and not for any emergency in the approval of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for the 2019 general elections.
Through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said on Sunday that fresh plot to detain the two presiding officers of the Senate was part of a renewed design to keep them out of circulation ahead of the resumption of the Senate this week.
He said that their arrest would enable senators of the APC extraction throw up two of their members as Senate President and Deputy Senate President on the excuse that Saraki and Ekweremadu failed to show up for proceedings in the Upper House.
Ologbondiyan said: “The PDP notes that the new plots to cage Saraki and Ekweremadu, in devilish rehash of the Tuesday, July 24, 2018 hostage-taking and invasion of their official residences by security agencies is coming after the August 7, 2018 failed attempt to use security forces to take control of the leadership of the Senate.
“Apart from plots to arrest and detain Saraki and Ekweremadu, the PDP has also been made aware of plans to use the EFCC and security forces to clamp down on their family members, including their wives and siblings as well as close associates, all in the effort to weaken their resolve.
“Moreover, investigations by the PDP further confirm that the insistence of the APC-led Federal Government on the emergency reconvening of the National Assembly, ostensibly to consider INEC’s budget for the 2019 election, is part of APC’s thicker plot to execute their premeditated ‘coup’ on the leadership of the Senate”.
He said that contrary to claims by the APC and the Presidency, INEC submitted the budget to the Presidency since February 2018, only for the Presidency to pass it to the National Assembly in July when the legislature was going on recess with a view to enmeshing it in a needless controversy.
The PDP asked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to stop acting saint, as Nigerians are aware that he is part and parcel of the actors behind the sordid developments playing out in the National Assembly.
The PDP urged Nigerians and the international community to note the activities of the APC and the Presidency, which have continued to put the unity and stability of “our nation as well as our hard-earned democracy under serious stress.”
Also yesterday, the R-APC alleged that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the ruling party had concluded plans to impeach Saraki and Ekweremadu.
The party’s Chairman, Buba Galadima claimed that Oshiomhole had mobilised and ordered APC Senators to participate in the plenary to ensure the removal of Saraki when the National Assembly reconvens this week.
Galadima said that the APC would interpret the 1999 Constitution to cause commotion and thereafter pass a vote of no confidence on the Senate President in order to remove him.
He therefore called on Saraki to invoke the provisions of Section 68 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), to declare the seat of Senator Godswill Akpabio, who defected to the APC last week, vacant against the backdrop that there is division in the opposition PDP.
A statement the R-APC issued on Sunday thorough its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said that the declaration will be the right move.
Afegbua in the statement titled: ”They Are at It Again” alleged that as the National Assembly plans to resume today (Tuesday), all Nigerians and lovers of democracy must be extra-vigilant before and during the plenary”.
He said that the new plot by the APC might once again leave “unsavoury taste in our mouths”.
While charging the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to sack the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, he added that top police chiefs participated in the APC meeting where the plot to invade the National Assembly was hatched.
Afegbua said: “By this statement, the National Working Committee of the R-APC wishes to alert the public that the factional leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has perfected plans to make the Tuesday, August 14 resumption date another kettle of fish for the illegal impeachment of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“This time, they are hell-bent on giving nebulous interpretation to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), by using the numbers of Senators present to provoke an impeachment. To this end, they have called on all APC Senators to make it a point of duty to participate at the plenary on Tuesday to pass a vote of ‘no confidence’ on the Senate President.
“This will be followed by orchestrated rancorous plenary session from where impeachment motion would be raised and their illegality perpetrated,” he said.