Following the emergence of Dr. Bukola Saraki as Senate President amidst controversies, the former Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra State and a legal practitioner, Chief Okoli Akriika has said that it was a veritable demonstration of democracy in action.
Speaking to journalists in Awka, he said that the election followed every legal process, saying “if you look at Section 54 of 1999 Constitution as amended, dealing with quorum of a senate or House of Representatives, it says that the quorum of the National Assembly shall be1/3 of all the members of the legislators concerned.
“So, you will see that the number of senators that served the proceedings of the day met with the requirements of the Section 54 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”
However, he further stated that President Muhammed Buhari has been lauded by his display of political sagacity and maturity in dealing with the election of principal officers of the National Assembly, which has generated bad blood in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Akirika said the President demonstrated a great deal of statesmanship by immediately recognising the new leadership of the National Assembly, although it did not go the way his party wanted it.
Akrika who was the Commissioner for Land under the administration of the former Governor of the State, Mr Peter Obi, said “the election of Senator Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu was “legitimate, procedural, beneficial and a veritable demonstration of democracy in action”.
He said that the principal officers were elected on simple majority in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and took place right on the floor of the Senate, after the proclamation by the President through the Clerk of the National Assembly.
“All conditions precedent were followed and met, and therefore all their actions remain lawful”, said Akarika.
He said that it was often said that political party is supreme but that has not been clearly applied in Nigeria, stressing that supremacy is subject to the supremacy of the law.
Akirika said the leadership of APC should appreciate that the party is a rainbow coalition and to that extent party allegiance is very fluid, saying that Saraki and Ekweremadu ticket was conceived and masterminded by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) element in both parties.
He said that this was a re-enactment of what happened in 2011, when former Speaker of Hose Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and now the governor of Sokoto State emerged against the directive of PDP.
But he warned that like Tambuwal whose tenure in the House remained frosty with the Presidency and the party and therefore stormy, so might be Saraki’s tenure in the House if there is no genuine reconciliation, stating that the president acted wisely by accepting and recognising them immediately.