Lawyer sues APC, FG over alleged threat to remove Saraki

A Kano-based lawyer, Ali Jamilu, has sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, All Progressive Congress (APC) and its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, over the alleged threat to remove Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate.

An originating summons filed at Federal High Court, Abuja, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES indicated that Mr. Jamilu sought the court’s interpretation of section 50 (1) (a) and 50 (2) (c) of 1999 Constitution whether the seats of the president or a deputy president of the Senate belong to the senators or a political party.

Mr Jamilu told PREMIUM TIMES that “I seek court interpretation as a result of statement credited to Adams Oshiomhole in Daily Trust newspaper of Wednesday 15th August, 2018 in page 5 where he was quoted to have said that ‘court cannot save Saraki.”

He faulted Mr Oshiomhole for saying that the “court cannot save Saraki” as nobody has gone to court to seek interpretation or protection for Saraki.

“What has court got to do with this issue? Has anyone run to the court to seek interpretation or protection for the senate president? Nobody has done that. I am not going to court to protect the interest of the senate president. Ours is to protect the interest and integrity of the Constitution and our courts.

“My concern is, has the senate president been elected to represent the interest of APC alone or his constituency? Is he a leader of all senators or APC senators?”

Mr Jamilu said his move was not to protect Mr Saraki but the integrity of the Constitution of Nigeria.

He faulted Mr Oshiomhole for saying with 56 senators, the APC would legally remove Mr Saraki from Senate President.

He said this contradicted sections 48 and 50 (2) of the 1999 Constitution which says president of the Senate and deputy president of the Senate can be removed from their offices by the votes of not less than two-thirds of 109 members of the Senate.

“I challenge the National Chairman of APC for saying even the court cannot save senate president because APC has 56 senators while PDP has 49, they are in the majority, the senate president must vacate office.

“The Constitution said the senate president should only be removed by two-third majority of the senate. My own understanding of two-third of 109 senators would not be something less than 72 senators,” he said.

Other defendants in the originating summons are president of the Senate, deputy Senate president, Senate leader and clerk of the National Assembly.

The defendants have 30 days to respond to the originating summons.

It is not only Mr Oshiomhole who believes that senate president can be removed by less than 72 senators.

Few weeks ago, an online newspaper (Daily Nigerian) published an op-ed by the national coordinator of National Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN), Sunusi Musa, saying 25 senators can remove Mr Saraki.

Mr Musa argued that what is required to remove Mr Saraki is two-thirds of members present at a sitting, provided they form a quorum, that is, at least one-third of the members (37).

A federal court in Abuja last week dismissed a suit by two senators on the same issue.  (Premium Times )

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