The All Progressives Congress caucus at the Senate on Tuesday expressed its grievances against the executive at a meeting with the party’s National Working Committee.
It was gathered that at the closed-door meeting, which started at 2.45pm and ended at 5.25pm, the APC senators absolved themselves of blame over the non-confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
It was learnt that the senators told the party leaders that Magu’s confirmation “died” before getting to the Senate and that the senators only did its funeral.
Investigations also showed that senators, who were loyal to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, demanded the withdrawal of the suit against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, describing the trial as political.
The meeting, which was held in Room 022 in the New Building section of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, began shortly after Saraki and the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, led others to the venue at 2.30pm before journalists were sent out at 2.45pm.
In his opening remarks, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the event was historic as it was the first time the leadership of the party would be meeting with the senators.
“This will be the first meeting of the APC Senate caucus with our National Working Committee. On behalf of my colleagues here, Mr. Chairman, I welcome you to this historic, memorable and very important interaction with the Senate APC Caucus of the National Assembly,” he said.
Odigie-Oyegun, who made reference to the point made by Lawan in his remarks, also described the meeting as historic.
Oyegun calls for ceasefire
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Odigie-Oyegun called on party stakeholders to “cease fire.”
He said, “My appeal is that as we start now the process of reconstructing relationships and consultations, there should be what I will call a ceasefire in terms of the kind of abuse that is used all round on one institution of government or the other, even principal parties of these institutions.”
Saraki pointed out that whether there were issues or not, regular consultations between the caucus and the party were important.
He stated, “Despite all the noise you heard last week, we still passed an amendment to the INEC law that had been there for over six or seven years.
“By this time next week, our Committee on Petroleum will lay the PIB, which has never been done.”
“It’s unfortunate but the most important thing is that a lot of stakeholders must respect these institutions. These institutions are there now and they are going to be there after, and we should not allow our selfish interests to enable us to try and ridicule the institutions.”
When asked if the suspension of the former Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, was raised at the meeting, Saraki replied, “Your question again is distracting from the issues. You have 108 senators here and you have the National Chairman. Let us focus on national issues.”
Why Magu was not confirmed
A senator, who was at the meeting, but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lawmakers drew the attention of the party leaders to the reports of the Department of State Services that indicted Magu.
It was gathered that the senators took on the national leadership of the APC, accusing the NWC of staying aloof while the crisis between the executive and the legislature was worsening. Read More