Akpabio emerges Senate Minority Leader

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio confessed to rigging the 2007 senatorial primary elections in his state.

A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has been named the Senate Minority Leader.

Mr. Akpabio was nominated by the south south caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The party lost the majority to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last election.

Phillip Aduda, who represents the Federal Capital Territory, was named Minority Whip, while Emmanuel Bwacha, representing Taraba State, emerged Deputy Minority Leader.

Mr. Akpabio’s nomination violates the standing rules of the senate, which reserves principal leadership positions for only ranking senators.

A former chairman of the PDP governors’ forum in the last administration, Mr. Akpabio was favoured to win the slot after receiving wide support from colleague lawmakers and his party.

Last week, a federal court rejected an application seeking to stop him from being named minority leader.

Two PDP senators had gone to court to challenge the move.

At the senate’s resumed session Tuesday, lawmakers passed a vote of confidence on the president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, and the deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

They also adopted a motion urging security agencies to stop harassing senators and their families.

Mr. Saraki’s wife, Toyin, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on allegations of corruption.

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