The Senate yesterday raised a 10-man panel to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the allegation that Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris is plotting to implicate Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Saraki made the allegation during the Semate Plenary yesterday following which he stepped down for his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to preside over the discussion on the matter.
Ekweremadu noted that what Saraki said was some of the things wrong with the country’s democracy which should be halted.
He insisted that the Senate must work to protect the rights of every Nigerian, no matter the situation.
Ekweremadu said there should be a 10-man committee to engage President Muhammadu Buhari as soon as possible.
He said the committee should report back to the Senate within one week.
Ekweremadu named Saraki as the leader of the delagation. An objection to his leadership of the panel since he is the man at the centre of the matter was rejected.
Other members of the committee are: Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan, Chief Whip Olusola Adeyeye, Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, Senators Abdullahi Adamu, Sam Egwu, Aliyu Wamakko, Oluremi Tinubu and Fatima Rasaki.
Saraki noted that another leg of the plot was to also frame up Kwara State Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed.
The lawmakers described what they were told as “a dangerous development” that must be halted in the interest of democracy.
Before the announcement, the upper chamber held over 45 minutes closed session which Saraki said was meant to deliberate on the running of the Senate and the National Assembly in general.
Akpabio said the Senate was still in the dark about what actually happened.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa said Saraki is not only the Senate President but chairman of the National Assembly.
The Lagos East lawmaker suggested that a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives be constituted to look into the matter.
Senator Philip Aduda (FCT) described the information as dangerous for the country’s democracy and also proposed an ad-hoc committee to look into the matter.
Adeyeye suggested a committee of seven from the Senate and six from the House of Representatives to consider the information.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu said the Senate should take steps to make Nigerians appreciate the persecution members of the National Assembly were going through.
Anyanwu said that the matter should be taken seriously, especially as it was a calculated attempt to ridicule the National Assembly and its members.
Senator Kabiru Marafa, who differed, suggested that a high powered committee should meet President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.
Marafa said if a committee was constituted to probe the matter, the IGP might not be disposed to appearing before it.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha described the matter as a dangerous development.
Bwacha said that President Buhari should be told in clear terms that democracy was in danger.
He described how his security detail was withdrawn on his way to Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Senator Isa Misau said that he had the inclination that other security organisations were behind the onslaught against the National Assembly while the police were being used as the face.
Misau said that what was happening was all geared towards 2019 general elections.
He said: “It is either we have this democracy or we change it to another thing. We must know where we are. We cannot continue to work under intimidation and harassment. The whole thing is planned and it is obvious that people have been marked.”
Senator Abdullahi Adamu described the report by Saraki as weighty.
He noted that though senators received the information with shock, they should apply maturity by setting up an ad-hoc committee to consider the information and advise the Senate.
Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan noted: “This is one of the sad moments of the Senate.”
Lawan noted that senators would have just walked into the chamber to pass the 2018 budget already listed in the Order Paper.
He said that it was pointless to continue to beat a dead horse by constituting another committee that the IGP might not honour.
Lawan said that some people might be taking advantage of situations without the President being aware of what was going on.
He agreed that a committee should be constituted to engage President Buhari to intimate him about the development and other issues the Senate might decide to bring to the attention of the President.