A senator, Rafiu Ibrahim, has accused two senators, Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa) and Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) of attacking Senate President Bukola Saraki because they believe this will allow them escape justice from alleged crimes.
He stated that every opportunity that the duo have to speak with the press, Mr Saraki became their subject of attack while they ingratiate themselves to ”their handlers in the Presidency”.
The cold war between the duo and the Senate President has lingered for a while now since Mr Omo-Agege accused his colleagues of working against Mr Buhari by adopting the amendment to section 25 of electoral act outlining a change in the sequence of elections. The plan, which has since been shelved, is the subject of a legal battle between the executive and legislature.
For issuing the statement, Mr Omo-Agege was suspended for 90 days following recommendations by a Senate committee.
The suspension was later nullified by the court; but the senator soon entered into another controversy when he was fingered in the invasion of the Senate which led to the theft of the mace.
To ascertain his role in the incident, a joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives was drafted.
Betty Apiafi (Rivers-PDP), chairperson of the committee, laid the report two weeks ago, at plenary session, prescribing a suspension of 180 days for Mr Agege.
The legislators also called for the immediate prosecution of Mr Omo-Agege and six others on charges of ”treasonable felony and assault occasioning harm, conspiracy to steal, and actual theft of the mace”.
Mr Omo-Agege has dismissed the resolution. He also attacked Mr Saraki, for his alleged role in the illegal suspension. He also went short of calling Mr Saraki a tyrant over how he ran the chamber.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Ibrahim said Mr Adamu ‘hurriedly’ formed the group he now calls Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) when his pending case of corruption while he was governor of Nasarawa State being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was about to be taken to court. He said this was done ”while everyone knew that the same commission was about to file charges against his son in a different case”.
“Maybe, the former governor now has a trophy to hold up for his ignoble efforts as the administration, in its usual way, has decided to keep away the file on Adamu. I am sure the case against his son is also not getting anywhere again,” he said.
He also said Mr Omo-Agege ”knows that in a sane clime, he will not be walking as a free man after the stolen mace incident”.
“The Senator, who came into the Senate through a court judgement is generally known not to have conducted himself well at all. Today, he is apologising for some loose talk and tomorrow, he is heading to the court to challenge the decision taken on the issue for which he admitted being wrong and day after, he is in the middle of another mace theft crisis.
“Omo-Agege believes by abusing the leadership of the Senate, he will be guaranteed the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by his handlers in the Presidency. The same way he abuses people in Abuja, he does same thing in his home state and that is why he is the one dividing the party in Delta State. He is definitely a divisive character,” he said.
The lawmaker said the two senators are behaving as if they have a monopoly of using harsh words against others.
“While I can understand the exuberance of an Omo-Agege, I am most disappointed in Senator Adamu. We earlier saw him as an elder, one of the people who should be uniting the Senate and trouble-shooting by reconciling and rallying the younger lawmakers behind positive issues. Today, Senator Adamu is the one seeking to destabilise the Senate just to please some people in the executive.
“The earlier these two and their ilk retrace their steps and concentrate on their duties as lawmakers instead of calling people names and whining like small children, the better. We have ignored them enough. This is a signal that we will tackle them on all points now,” he said.
He urged the Senate President and the leadership of the National Assembly to concentrate on the various ”ground-breaking laws, innovative interventions, revealing oversights and the progressive advocacy efforts that it has been embarking on and not be distracted by the antics of divisive elements and other members who operate under external influence”.
When contacted, an aide to Mr Omo-Agege, Efe Duku, promised that the lawmaker will respond to the allegations. He is yet to do this after several hours.
Efforts to get Mr Adamu’s reaction were also unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls and text message sent to him.