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… Senate rejects resignation of committee members, receives report

Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN and BASHIR UMAR, Abuja on 2007/03/22 | Views: 623 |

… Senate rejects resignation of committee members, receives report

The Senate on Wednesday not only rejected the resignation of members of its review committee on the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PDTF) but also received the committee’s report.

The Senate on Wednesday not only rejected the resignation of members of its review committee on the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PDTF) but also received the committee’s report.

This is coming at a time Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, admitted being visited by former presidential aide and Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Andy Uba, and businessman, Chief Emeka Offor, prior to the committee’s submission of its report.
The leave to allow Tsauri lay his report on the table, on Wednesday, was sought for and granted after the Senate in a unanimous decision rejected the resignation of Tsauri and other members of the committee.

Moments after the Senate convened, the leaders moved that the House goes into a closed door session. The motion was seconded by the Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Usman Umar and the Senate went into a closed-door session by 10.58 a.m.

At exactly 1p.m, committee chairman, Tsauri, stormed out of the session, met with one of his aides, collected some documents from him and returned to the session. Twenty-four minutes later, he came out again, met with the said aide, collected another document and returned to the Senate.

And by 1.50p.m, the closed-door session was over. The Senate returned to plenary, with Nnamani saying: "In a very extended closed-door session, we deliberated on a number of issues bordering on the recent happenings in the last 24 hours.

"I have a letter here and it is from Senator Umaru Tsauri. But before I read it, let me say that the Senate is in no way divided. We remain one family and united as ever in the fight against corruption. We would not want to create the impression that we are deliberately trying to run or shy away from our responsibility. Section 88 of the constitution empowers the hallowed chamber to investigate and expose corruption. And we will carry out that responsibility irrespective of our individual stands.

"I will like to point out before I read the letter again that there is disagreement but there is no quarrel, because we have different opinions over issues. And the Senate again, in its characteristic manner, remains united. We set up the committee to collate opinions of senators on the ad hoc committee so that we can have a consensus opinion to give us consensus report. We are not trying to sweep the issue under the carpet neither are we trying to sweep under the carpet the cankerworm that have made Nigerians poor, that is the cankerworm of corruption," he said.

Thereafter he read the letter conveying the resignation of the committee members to the Senate. After reading it, it was put to vote, but the ‘Nays’ had it, thereby rejecting the resignation. From there, the Senate president requested the Senate leader to invoke the necessary orders of the Senate rules so as to accommodate the report.
Before presenting the report, Tsauri too said: "I consulted with the members of the committee and we agreed that if the Senate rejects our resignation, we will gladly lay our report." He thereafter preceded to the lay the report.

Meanwhile, the Senate president says he would do anything within his powers to save the Presidency in the national interest, even as he also agreed that emissaries from the Aso Villa have been his regular visitors at home.

In an interactive session with reporters in his office, Senator Nnamani said: "Keeping the issue of Obasanjo aside, I would do anything within my power to save the Presidency in the national interest. I would do that because it is more a than a person; it represents our common psyche, our common identity which is exemplified in the Presidency."

He noted: "if our President is doing very well, the country will be smiling. So, I would do my part to protect the interest of the Presidency in the national interest."
Senator Nnamani admitted playing host to former sepecial assistant to the President, Mr. Andy Uba and Emeka Ofor, saying they had visited his Apo Village official residence on regular basis for "one reason or the other" since he assumed leadership of the Senate.

He said: "Andy Uba was my junior in secondary school. I was a senior prefect of the school when he was in class two. He was the school goal-keeper for junior team. He visits me from time to time; yes he visits me. Chief Emeka Ofor is my personal friend. Though he is not with the Presidency, he is an independent businessman. He also visits me from time to time. Many people too, visit me."

He explained that the reason for not receiving the PTDF Review Panel Report on Tuesday was due to "communication gap," as according to him, the committee did not indicate that it would finish on the same day it had requested for extension of time.

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Comments (2)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown