by Segun Odeleye
The controversy surrounding the refusal of the leadership of the Senate to read the defection letter of 11 senators elected under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new turn, with the senate President, David Mark charged to seek legal advice.
This followed after a lengthy closed door session on the issue. The upper chambers also suspended plenary for two days to allow its committees to commence work on the 2014 Appropriation Bill which scaled second reading on Tuesday.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who briefed reporters after plenary added that the need to allow APC Senators to go for their registration also informed the suspension of plenary for two days.
Abaribe said, “The Senate had a closed door session this morning on matters that affect the well being of this country. I can affirm to you that the interest of the country was put first in the discussion and the discussions were fruitful. I can confirm to you that on the matter of those who want to defect that the issue was also discussed during the closed door session and it was resolved that the Senate, the Senate President in particular, would have to seek further legal advice because of the serious legal issues that was thrown up during the discussion.
“The legal issues relate to both the interpretation of the Constitution and the interpretation of our rules within the Senate. More time was given for further consultation. It was also resolved that when the Senate resumes plenary on Tuesday that Senate will look into the issue.”
Reportedly, APC Senators who appeared to be dissatisfied by the outcome of the closed door session had gone back to the drawing board to articulate ways and means to handle the unfolding scenario. The opposition lawmakers quickly held a closed door meeting after the plenary in the office of the Minority Leader, Senator George Akume.
Sources, however, said the APC Senators were not happy at the way the leadership of the Senate is handling the issue of the defecting PDP senators.