By Victoria Ikeano
Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraiki was in the Senate premises and not in his house when the police reportedly besieged his official residence, blocking off entrances.
This was revealed yesterday by Senator Abdullahi Adamu during a chat with the African Independent Television (AIT) at its breakfast show Kakaaki.
It will be recalled that during the widely reported siege of his Abuja house on July 24, Dr. Saraki appeared in the Senate chambers to the jubilation of his supporters, saying that he managed to escape the siege.
Responding to a question, Senator Adamu who represents Nasarawa West, said, “I know and I later got to know that Saraki was in the Senate during that time, he was not at home”.
The police headquarters later issued a statement through the Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Moshood, disassociating the police from the blockade and stating that the siege was by the Senate president’s security details. The police high command added that it was instituting an investigation to fish out those behind the action and their motive.
Dr. Saraki’s supporters alleged that the aim of the ‘siege’ which also affected his deputy, Ike Ekweramadu, was to effect his removal as Senate President.
Upon entering the Senate chambers for plenary during the police siege, the senate president read out a list of senators defecting from the ruling APC to PDP and ADC and also adjourned sitting to September 25.
This was faulted by Senator Adamu who said that it did not conform to the standard practice and the senate’s rules for announcing defections. He also picked holes with the senate’s “long” adjournment, remarking that it was hurriedly done by Dr. Saraki and adding that the senate was meant to have passed the INEC budget before proceeding on recess. He also noted that it was the longest recess in the history of the 8th Senate. “I am a ranking senator, I have been in the senate for seven years now and this is the longest break, two months”, he stated.
Asked if the executive was not also to blame for late submission of funding requirement for INEC that is now causing great concern, since time for the 2019 general elections had been fixed long ago, Senator Abdullahi remarked that the executive’s recent request was necessitated by the fact that some of the allocations for INEC in the 2018 budget that was passed rather late by the National Assembly itself, were expunged by the legislature.