By Nuel Suji, Abuja – Not less than 83 Senators on Tuesday passed a vote of confidence on its leadership comprising the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike EKweremadu and all the principal officers amid protest by Senator Kabiru Marafa ( APC Zamfara Central) who described the decision as pre-judicial.
Senator Saraki was arraigned last week before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.
He denied wrongdoing and said the trial was politically motivated.
But resuming from its six weeks recess Tuesday, in a motion of urgent national importance, order 7 (2), Senator David Umaru APC (Niger East) and supported by 88 others, the senators reiterated that the 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees the separation of powers and the independence of the legislative arm of government pledging their commitment to continue to defend democracy and the rule of law for the betterment and development of our nation, Nigeria.
“Senate notes with dismay, the attempt and continued interference in the internal affairs of the Senate by detractors and media propaganda against senators, the senate and is leadership by selfish politicians.
“Considering the on-going unwarranted embarrassment and aspersions being cast on the senate and its leadership.”
“Determined that the Senate shall not allow itself to be distracted, deterred or succumb to cheap blackmail in the course of carrying out its constitutional responsibilities by any individual or group or people under any pretense or guise for person.”
Aside the vote of confidence passed on the senate leadership, the senate through the 83 senators also called on innocent Nigerians , groups and political associations not to allow themselves to be used by any person or persons to harass , intimidate or blackmail the senate, senators and its leadership.
Motion for the vote of confidence was moved by Senator David Umaru ( APC Niger East) and seconded by Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima ( APC Zamfara West) .
Umaru in the motion submitted that the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended, guarantees the separation of powers and independence of the legislative arm of government .
Seconding the motion, Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima said “Nigerians have elected us here and nobody else can dictate to us from outside on who to make as our leader in any capacity.
“If anybody is dreaming outside this chamber to bring about any change in our leadership or direct the senate in anyway, the person should go and sleep”.
Aside Yerima , some other senators also supported the motion before it was finally passed through voice votes.
But Senator Kabiru Marafa who before the endorsement of the confidence vote by the senate , attempted to kick against it through a point of order, later raised orders 53(5) and 58 to kick against the decision taken.
Marafa contented that the Senate President , Bukola Saraki should have recognized him to speak before putting the motion for vote but Saraki repeatedly told him to read order 53(6) , which states that senators cannot raise any matter that had already been ruled upon by the senate during the same session.