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Opposition senators want Abaribe cautioned over press briefings


Enyinnaya Abaribe

Enyinnaya Abaribe

• Senate adjourns sitting to March 31 over polls

ALL Progressives Congress senators yesterday urged the Senate leadership to call the Chairman, Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinnaya Abaribe to order.
Speaking through the Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, the lawmakers, coming under Orders 42 and 53, condemned Abaribe’s statement that most APC senators have pending court cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Akume noted that Abaribe by that statement had deviated from the proceedings on the floor, which he supposed to convey to the press.
Meanwhile, the upper chamber has adjourned sitting till March 31 to allow them to prepare for the March 28 elections, wishing his colleagues victory irrespective of their political divide.
According to Akume, Abaribe has always spoken for himself and not the Senate, which he represents.
“Actually, I rise to make a very brief comment on the event we had here last week. I want to say that as a family, we have been working very closely in the interest of the country. We were surprised that because of our disagreement over one of the nominees, the Senate, through the Chairman on Information, went to the press and said that we have no right whatsoever to question the confirmation of the nomination of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro because many of us have cases pending with EFCC.
“That was not what was discussed here. I want us to take very judicious notice of this. I do not want us to castigate ourselves. We are in a position to speak more on this because of the integrity of the Senate, which has refused to make any comment on this.
“The Senate, through Abaribe cannot say that that was what we discussed here. We have observed repeatedly that whenever Abaribe speaks, he speaks for himself. Mostly, he does not speak for the Senate. Mr. President, we are calling on you to call Abaribe to order. What he said has no basis whatsoever. If we want to talk about ourselves, we are free to say so,” Akume said.
To prevent another raucous session, the President of the Senate, David Mark, urged Akume to sit down, having made his point, before he announced adjournment till March 31 to allow the lawmakers space to prepare for the March 28 elections. Mark said, “Akume, I thought you made a point already that because of the Senate, you would not want to say much, you should not. So, I have noted your observation. Thank you.”

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1 Comment
  • stan Emelogu

    Senator Abaribe was correct in his analysis. If the APC stand on not confirming Obanikoro because he had questions to answer was adopted then hypothetically all other members with cases to answer should not be sitting in the red chamber. The gist of the whole matter is that we must allow citizens of this country to remain innocent until proven guilty. The Nigerian political strata is littered with accusations and inuendos that until a court of competent jurisdiction rules has no weight. Senator Abaribe was absolutely right in reminding his colleagues about that. Feathers were ruffled but who cares.