STUDY IN CHINA

Friday, June 12, 2015

We will follow due process to punish Saraki, others – APC

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The All Progressives Congress has said that whatever disciplinary action it will take against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and   its members for defying its directive on the election of the National Assembly leadership will follow due process.

It said this just as The PUNCH learnt that the Presidency had intervened in the crisis the election of Saraki and Dogara on Tuesday had generated.


The party had conducted mock elections in which Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila emerged as its consensus candidates for the Senate Presidency and House speakership.

After the mock polls, the APC directed its other lawmakers not to contest the positions but ensure that Lawan and Gbajabiamila became the National Assembly leaders.

But this was not to be as Saraki and Dogara did not only contest but won with the support of opposition Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers.

In the Senate, an opposition member, Ike Ekweremadu, surprisingly retained his post as Deputy Senate President.

Ekweremadu defeated an APC Senator, Ali Ndume, who also defied the party’s directive by contesting. The APC anointed candidate for the post   is Mohammed Mungono.

The APC spokesman, Lai Mohammed, who spoke with journalists after an emergency National Working Committee meeting of the APC in Abuja, insisted that the party had not made a U-turn on its earlier position   that the errant lawmakers   would be sanctioned.

The APC spokesman had in a statement on Tuesday said, that the election of   Saraki and Dogara   was unacceptable.

He had said, ‘‘The APC leadership is meeting in a bid to reestablish discipline in the party and to mete out the necessary sanctions to all those involved in what is nothing but a monumental act of indiscipline and betrayal to subject the party to ridicule and create obstacles for the new administration.’’

When asked on Thursday if the party would still   go ahead with plans to punish Saraki,Dogara and others, he replied, that the   “sanctions would follow due process.”

He added   that the errant lawmakers would be notified about their alleged offences and given an opportunity to respond.

When asked why the members of the SUF were at the NWC meeting, he said,   “They are our senators that wanted to confer with the party leadership; they came to confer on the crisis in the National Assembly.”

On the threat by the SUF   to contest Saraki’s election in court, the APC spokesman said, “I think the party made its expression clear on the matter, that it is unhappy with the outcome of the election and I think we won’t say anything beyond that.

“What the senators will do is within their capability and rights.”

It was also gathered that Saraki, who was due to pay a courtesy visit on the party leadership had a rethink on learning that the SUF members were meeting with the NWC.

However, Mohammed said he was unaware of the planned visit by Saraki.

“I’m not aware, probably if you wait you will see him,” he told the journalists, who also informed him that an advance team of security details from the Senate President’s office were sighted earlier in the day at the party’s secretariat.

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