Senators opposed to the leadership of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday filed a fresh suit at Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking the nullification of the inauguration of the 8th Senate carried out by the management of the National Assembly, on June 9.
The senators are operating on the platform of a group called Senate Unity Forum.
A member of the group, who confirmed the development to one of our correspondents on conditions of anonymity, explained that one of their prayers was that the court should declare the inauguration of the 8th Senate as well as the election of the presiding officers as null and void.
He said the group, based on the revelations in the police report on the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015, was of the view that the document used for the inauguration and the election were fake.
He added that the group expected the state to commence a criminal prosecution against person and persons indicted in the alleged forgery scandal to serve as deterrent to others.
He said, “We are doing this in the interest of our great country because anybody or group of people could wake up one day and conspire to ammend the Nigerian Constitution without following due process, if the current case of forgery scandal is not acted upon”
Attempts to speak with the spokesperson for the SUF, Senator Kabir Marafa, on the issue were futile as he did not pick calls made to his line on Monday night while text messages also sent to him were not responded to.
Meanwhile, some senators on Monday, cautioned against any criminal prosecution against anyone indicted by the police in the amendments made to the Senate Rules 2015.
For instance, Senator Shehu Sanni, (APC Kaduna-Central) cautioned against any action that would lead to the arrest of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, because doing so would be counter-productive.
He said that if for any reason Ekweremadu was removed, the Senate may continue to witness stern opposition as the APC alone cannot form the required quorum to pass bills.
He said, “Evicting him will trigger another issue. We have to learn to live with what we have for the smooth running of the senate and the administrations of President Muhammadu Buhari”
Although Sanni noted that he would have preferred that the APC occupied the presiding officers positions in the Senate but that the party should accept the present composition and move on.
Another Senator, Abiodun Olujimi ( PDP Ekiti-South) said the amendments made in the 2015 Senate standing orders being referred to as forgery by the Senator Ahmad Lawan group in the senate, was carried out by the management of the National Assembly for the inauguration of the 8th Senate.
She said the senators alleging forgery as a result of slight amendments effected on the 2011 Senate Standing Order used by the 7th Senate as reflected in the 2015 standing order, were just playing politics with a strictly internal matter of the senate.
She insisted that there was legislative immunity on the matter, which prevents both the police and the court of law from meddling in it.
She said, “As far as majority of the senators are concerned, the alleged forgeries being bandied about by Ahmad Lawan and his group, is a ruse, because for every new senate, a new standing order must be provided which was what was given to senators at the inauguration of the 8th Senate on the 9th of last month.
“Lawan and the other senators are crying wolf where there is none. Were not the only senators who were in the 7th senate and besides, the 7th senate ended with its standing order of 2011 on the 4th of June 2015.
“The 2015 senate standing order is a fresh document meant for the 8th senate and not 7th senate, so where lies the forgery they are talking about?”
She added that appropriate sanction may later be meted out to those dragging the institution of the senate in the mud on matters that are strictly internal.
She said, “I think there are reprimands for those who go outside the line and I am sure that the senate will apply appropriate sanction at the appropriate when to those that may be found culpable on this matter at the end of the day.”