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Senate Rule: It’s Amendment, Not Forgery – Senators

Ahead of today’s resumption of the 8th National Assembly from a five-week break, senators have laughed off the claim by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) that the 2015 Senate Standing Order was forged.

This is even as some senators have claimed that the hallowed chamber is immune to external investigations. A case of forgery was leveled by members of the Senate Unity Forum (SUF), the umbrella body of the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators, who threw their weight behind Senator Ahmad Lawan’s bid for the position of Senate President against Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

But speaking to journalists in Abuja yesterday, some senators, who described the allegation as a ruse, claimed that what some of their colleagues regarded as forgery, are amendments.

According to Senator Abiodun Olujimi, the amendments made in the 2015 Senate Standing Orders being referred to as forgeries by the Lawanists in the Senate, were carried out by the management of the National Assembly for the inauguration of the 8th Senate.

She said the senators alleging forgeries as a result of slight amendments effected on the 2011 Senate Standing Orders used by the 7th Senate as reflected in the 2015 Senate Standing Orders, are just playing politics with a strictly internal matter of the Senate.

She noted that those playing politics have forgotten that legislative immunity on such matter prevents both the police and the court of law to meddle in it.

“As far as majority of the senators are concerned, the alleged forgeries being bandied about by Ahmad Lawan and his group, is a ruse, because for every new senate, a new standing order must be provided which was what was given to senators at the inauguration of the 8th Senate on the 9th of last month.

“Lawan and the other senators crying wolf where there is none, were not the only senators who were in the 7th Senate and besides, the 7th Senate ended with its standing order of 2011 on the 4th of June 2015.

The 2015 Senate Standing Order is a fresh document meant for the 8th Senate and not 7th Senate, so where lies the forgery they are talking about?” she noted. She added that appropriate sanction may later be meted out to those dragging the institution of the Senate in the mud on matters that are strictly internal.

–  Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

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