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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pro-Lawan senators move to impeach Saraki

SARAKI
There were indications on Friday that members of the Senate Unity Forum had started wooing senators loyal to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

Saturday PUNCH reliably gathered that the move was part of fresh efforts to change the leadership of the Senate.


The group comprises senators, who were opposed to the emergence of Saraki as senate president.

It was learnt that the SUF members, who contacted the pro-Saraki senators, hinged their argument on the ongoing trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

It was gathered that the group might have succeeded in securing the support of 12 pro-Saraki senators, mainly the Peoples Democratic Party members.

Investigations showed that the anti-Saraki group sought the support of the senate president’s loyalists because it had become obvious that the senate president could not be removed without the support of some senators that were sympathetic to him.

At the inauguration of the Senate on June 6, 57 out of 109 senators were reported to have voted for Saraki.

However, members of the SUF, who were supporting Senator Ahmed Lawan were at a meeting with the party leaders when the election was held.

Investigations revealed that some of the senators who supported Lawan’s bid had allegedly met with some All Progressives Congress leaders on the need to remove Saraki.

It was gathered that they started meeting with the leaders shortly after the Senate went on recess.

Specifically, a member of the group, who spoke with our correspondents on conditions of anonymity, explained that series of meetings had been held with APC leaders like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Chief Bisi Akande.

A member of the group from the South-West geopolitical zone, who also craved anonymity, confirmed to one of our correspondents that the SUF members had started reaching out to their colleagues who had joined the camp of Saraki.

He expressed optimism that the group would be able to muster enough support from other senators to get the required 73 members needed to oust the senate president.

He said, “We know that getting the required figure to carry out an impeachment at the moment would be a herculean task but honestly we hope to achieve it very soon. Already there has been a serious move to get our former party members who are with Saraki now back to our camp.

“I can also confirm to you that we have the support of about 12 Peoples Democratic Party senators who are ready to support any move against Saraki. Don’t forget that some ranking PDP senators are still aggrieved over the emergence of freshers as their principal officers.”

Further checks by one of our correspondents also revealed that some of the APC leaders who met with the SUF members had asked the anti – Saraki senators to work on some influential PDP senators who could get their colleagues to support their course.

A source said, “I am not in Abuja now, we shall resume on Monday. I don’t have specific information at the moment but what I can assure you of is that our leaders have said that it is fight to finish.

“We learnt that the like minds senators are already working on some of their supporters in the PDP camp to reject the ministerial list by refusing to screen them but we are also ready for them. I won’t disclose our strategy for now.”

One of our correspondents further learnt that the SUF were also working on a political solution to execute its agenda since it would be difficult for its members to dangle financial inducements to their colleagues because of the anti – corruption posture of the Buhari administration.

One of them confided in one of our correspondents that Saraki might want to save his face from the impending embarrassment at the end of the CCT trial by opting to step aside.

He said, “We know that he might want to give conditions like a settlement of his CCT case out of court, withdrawing of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charges against his wife and an end to his former manager’s trial for alleged fraud at the Société Générale Bank. We could help him in this regard to have a soft landing and avoid disgrace. “

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