Saraki Leaves Self Exposed To Impeachment As ‘APC Senate’ Clears Amaechi

Senate President Bukola Saraki
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By Osigbesan Sultan Luqman

Senate President Bukola Saraki on Thursday left his flanks unguarded in the upper chambers by choosing to align with senators from his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), instead of those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on whose back he rode to the leadership of the Senate in June, during a rancorous debate over the confirmation of a ministerial nominee and former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
Efforts by the PDP senators, led by Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, to make the Senate defer Amaechi’s confirmation based on the report of the Senator Samuel Anyanwu-led ethics committee were effectively thwarted by Saraki, who at a point refused to give the floor to the PDP senators to express their opposition to Amaechi’s confirmation.
After several attempts to be recognised to speak failed, Senator Akpabio led the PDP senators to stage a walkout of the confirmation session, which effectively gave the floor to the APC senators to confirm all 18 remaining ministerial nominees, including Amaechi.
Understandably, the only PDP senator left behind was Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
However, political analysts who spoke with The Dream Daily observed that Saraki may have unwittingly provide a leeway to the hawks in the APC to unseat him from the Senate presidency by instigating a similar walkout of PDP senators in the near future to impeach him.
The political analysts also surmised that the PDP senators might have also found a potent weapon to rein in Saraki to do their wish in the future by threatening to walkout on him in the face of impeachment dangers from the Senate President’s traducers in the Upper Chambers.
“He (Saraki) will need a fence-mending manoeuvre now if he is to hold on to that seat. The powerful forces in the APC do not want Saraki on that seat still and in this game of numbers the only people who can save him are the PDP senators. I think Saraki must quickly reach out to them over this Amaechi brouhaha or else his APC enemies might impeach him one day when they form a quorum after a walkout by the PDP senators as they did today,” one of the analysts said.
“The only snag I see here is that the PDP might also be wary of losing the deputy senate president’s seat in this possible impeachment scenario if they walkout on Saraki because the pro-party APC senators would then use that opportunity to flush out the current Senate leadership, which as we all know neither enjoys the party’s backing nor that of President Buhari,” another analyst added.
But a source who pleaded anonymity told The Dream Daily that “what played out over Amaechi today in the Senate is Saraki’s olive branch to his party and the President in relation to his capture of the Senate presidency and his on-going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He (Saraki) tried to save his party and the President from further embarrassment over this issue, in the hope that they will reciprocate this goodwill by backing off on him at both the Senate and the Code of Conduct trial.
“The Senate president has not abandoned his allies in the chambers and you will see that if the APC and the Presidency do not leave him alone by discontinuing their pursuit of the Senate Presidency and the alleged false asset declaration trial. In fact I expect the Appeal Court to rule in favour of Saraki tomorrow (today, Friday) in its verdict on the legality of that CCT trial. If not, you should expect to see Saraki and other APC officials in the Senate to dig in deeper against their party and the President in close working relationship with PDP senators in the Senate.
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appealis expected to deliver judgment today in the appeal seeking to quash the 13-count criminal charge pending against Saraki before the CCT.
The appellate court had earlier adjourned its verdict on the matter indefinitely, a situation that forced the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal to defer hearing on the case till November 5, to await the outcome of the appeal.
The tribunal took the decision to suspend full-blown hearing on the criminal case after the Justice Moore Adumein panel of the appeal court, on October 21, postponed its judgement without giving any reason.

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