Senators list Akpabio’s “sins” as fresh plot to impeach Senate President thickens after clash with Ndume

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There are strong indications of a fresh plot to impeach Senate President Godswill Akpabio over alleged highhandedness and insensitivity to the demands of lawmakers in the upper legislative chamber.

This comes barely 24-hours after Borno ranking senator, Ali Ndume, staged a walkout of plenary due to Akpabio’s rejection of his point of order on Tuesday.

Bellnews earlier reported that barely 10 minutes after commencement of plenary, Ndume raised point of order against an error committed by the Senate President, which he refused to correct.

The error in reference was a motion moved by Senator Summaila Kawu (NNPP, Kano South), for a debate on the need for re-opening of Nigeria-Niger border, but without stating the title of the motion.

Ndume, citing order 51 of the Senate standing rules, requested the Senate President to allow for correction of any error made or observed in plenary.

“Mr. President, there are some things we do in this chamber that are against the rules. Nobody is too big to learn,” he said in disgust.

“This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guided by laws, rules and procedures. If in the course of proceedings at any session, errors are observed, they must be corrected before forging ahead with such proceeding,” he said.

But Akpabio would have none of it as he quickly interrupted the Borno lawmaker, insisting that having ruled on issues raised, it cannot be revisited and consequently ruled Ndume out of order.

Kogi senator, Senator Sunday Karimi, attempted to sustain Ndume’s line of argument through another point of order but was also swiftly ruled out of order by Akpabio.

As the shouting match raged on, Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, quickly rose to read order 16, and asked Senators to respect the rule that requires a substantive motion to be moved by any Senator for correction or review of earlier decision taken. It was immediately sustained by Akpabio.

Infuriated, Ndume by raising another point of order (Order 54) sought that correction of perceived error should be made. But without allowing Ndume to make full presentation of his argument, Akpabio ruled him out of order again.

Angered by Akpabio’s decision, Ndume packed his documents and stormed out of the chamber. In the midst of the uproar created by the scenario, Senators hurriedly went into a closed-door session.

Ndume later returned after receiving a call that the Senate had moved into a closed session.

Reacting to the incident, a source told Politics Nigeria that aggrieved lawmakers are regrouping to begin an impeachment move against Akpabio.

The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity alleged that the Senate under Akpabio has been divided saying: “A situation where the Senate is divided will only spell doom for the country as no meaningful progress will be made.”

He continued: “A Senate with over 100 senators and nobody can talk? Nobody can challenge the Senate President? Nobody can attempt to correct him? That’s not democracy. All I can say is that senators are regrouping and you’ll see the outcome in a few days.”

Asked if Nigerians should expect a motion for Akpabio’s impeachment in the coming coming days, the source said: “It’s just a matter of days. If things do not change, that [impeachment] will surely happen because we’re here to represent our constituents; people voted for every one of us to be here.”

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