Peace moves to an end the leadership crises rocking both the Senate and House of Representatives have failed woefully as the senators loyal to Lawan and Akume are set to challenge the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
A lawyer in the office of the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, APC, told Nigerian Pilot that the Senate Unity Forum headed by Senator Barnabas Gemade and their Lower House counterparts have already notified the party’s National Secretariat of the planned legal action.
lawanHe said that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Waziri Aminu Tambuwal’s reconciliatory committee setup by the APC had failed to reconcile the warring factions.
He said that the Unity Forum is challenging in court the June 9 election won by Saraki as Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
Members of the forum will be praying the court to nullify the election of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
Ahead of the planned suit, the Senators under the aegis of Like Minds who back Saraki, met on Saturday in Abuja to assess the situation and launch a counter-legal attack.
Members of the Unity Forum are said to be angry at what they see as the hard line position of the Saraki group against the directive of the APC leadership on the sharing of principal positions in the chamber.
Their decision to go to court is hinged on alleged lack of quorum in the chamber on June 9 when Saraki and Ekweremadu were elected and the purported use of forged 2015 Senate Standing Orders (Amended) to conduct the election.
Although the Police, who investigated the matter, are expected to release their report this week, the Unity Forum opted for legal redress irrespective of the outcome.
A member of the Unity Forum said: “We have decided to seek legal redress to contest the validity of the election of the Senate President and his deputy based on forged Standing Orders.”
According to the member of the SUF, the Lower House members loyal to Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila are going to file a separate suit before the same Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the emergence of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as Speaker.
“We want to lay all the cards on the table before the court. If at the end of the day, the court affirms the validity of the Standing Orders and the election of the principal officers, we will abide by such judicial pronouncement.
“Is it not better to follow the rule of law than impunity? The management of the National Assembly is expected to tell the court how it came about the forged Standing Orders,” the source said in response to a question.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the senators behind Saraki launched into a meeting during the Sallah break in Abuja to review the situation, while leaving Clerk to the National Assembly and his team to handle the legal aspect of the crisis.
Apart from Tambuwal, the APC Governors’ Forum Committee on the crisis in the Senate is being coordinated by Governors Atiku Bagudu and Adams Oshiomhole.
A source close to the committee said: “The governors are expected to meet Saraki and Lawan after the Eid-el- Fitri break. The resumption of negotiation was one of the reasons why the National Assembly fixed July 28 for Senators to return from recess.
“If members of the Unity Forum have gone to court, it means they have expanded the scope of negotiation. We can resolve everything with cooperation from all parties to the crisis.
“The issue is how to respect party supremacy and abide by the directive of APC on the choice of principal officers.”
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had on June 23 sent the party’s position to Saraki.
The June 23 letter to Saraki, referenced APC/NHDQ/NAM/01/015/05, said: “Please find below for your necessary action names of principal officers approved by the party, after excessive consultations for the 8th Senate as follows: Sen.Ahmed Lawan (Majority Leader) -North-East; Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Chief Whip)- South-West; Sen. George Akume (Deputy Majority Leader) – North-Central; and Sen. Abu Ibrahim(Deputy Chief Whip) – North-West, respectively.

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