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Saraki, Dogara explain why NASS cannot reconvene

Saraki’s actions as Senate President now bother on high treason -- APC

THE leadership of the National Assembly says there is no date yet fixed for lawmakers to reconvene for the purpose of considering the 2019 election budget.

Yusuf Lasun, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives had said last week that members of both legislative chambers would reconvene on Tuesday, but a joint statement issued by Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, media aides to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara respectively, on Tuesday, said the initial arrangement would no longer be tenable.

“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the (2019 general election budget) proposal this week before which a meeting between the joint senate and house of representatives committees on electoral matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday, August 13, 2018,” the statement read in part.

“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint senate and house committees on appropriations, loans and debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.

“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both the Senate and the house of representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.

“Until the committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”

The lawmakers had begun their annual recess on July 24 to resume on September 25.

APC kicks

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised the leadership of the National Assembly for failing to reconvene on Tuesday as earlier promised to consider the 2019 general election budget.

The party described the development as a ploy by Senate president, Bukola Saraki, and his supporters “to postpone their doomsday regarding the imminent Senate leadership change”.

“As Chairman of the 8th National Assembly, Saraki’s decision not to reconvene the National Assembly, done with the support of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, further buttresses our position that Saraki is ever ready to pursue his selfish interests over National Interest,” read a statement by APC’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.

“This is another brazen display of his penchant for abuse of powers and sabotage of government, however the cost and implication.

“While Saraki and his cohorts continue to postpone their doomsday regarding the imminent Senate leadership change, the yet-to-be considered 2019 budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is dangerously delayed.

“Clearly, Saraki’s actions as Senate President now bother on high treason.”


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