Overwhelmed by negative reactions to some
observations on the floor of the Senate, the
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki on
Thursday night held a secret meeting with the
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Investigation conducted by our correspondent
revealed that the Senate President’s meeting
with the Acting President was based on
“some developments that occurred in the
Senate during the week, including the
suspension of consideration of further
nominations by the Executive in protest
against the retention of the Acting Chairman
of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission ( EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, and
the consequent threats of impeachment by
some Senators.

A source said: “The Senate President met
with the Acting President. He actually came
alone and without the paraphernalia of his
office to underscore his commitment to
rapprochement between the Executive and
the National Assembly.

“Saraki took time to explain a few things to
the Acting President, but the talks bordered
on the clarification of a few misgivings,
especially the rumour that he was planning to
become the Acting President or instigating the
Senate against the Presidency.

“He also took time to explain why the Senate
wanted its resolutions respected in line with
the principle of separation of powers.
“Above all, the session was actually frank.”

Findings made by our correspondent also
showed that Thursday’s meeting between
Osinbajo and Saraki was preceded by a visit
the National Chairman of the All Progressives
Congress ( APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun,
paid the Acting President on Wednesday night.
Before his visit to Osinbajo, Odigie-Oyegun
was said to have reached out to the Senate
leadership, asking them to prevail on warring
senators to tread softly so as not to plunge
the nation into unnecessary crisis.

A government source said: “The APC National
chairman came at a time the Acting President
was about to have a meeting with a select
group of government officials.

He was asked
to join the meeting, which bordered on the
battle line drawn by the Senate.
“During the session, the APC National
chairman said he had interacted with Saraki
and advised the Senate leadership and
Senators to ‘lie low’ and avoid anything
capable that was capable of plunging the
nation into crisis.

“Oyegun also said the APC could not
understand why the party in power would be
in opposition against itself.
“No one can say if Oyegun’s intervention was
responsible for the visit of the Senate
President to Osinbajo.”

There were indications yesterday that the
Presidency had uncovered four planks on
which the Senate is hinging its threats of
impeachment.
One of them is the running battle between the
Presidency and the Senate over continued
stay of the Acting Chairman of the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC),
Mr. Ibrahim Magu, in office.

A reliable Presidency source said:
“Intelligence report revealed that some
senators have identified four issues to take
the Presidency on.
“These issues are insistence on the removal
of Magu; the renewal of the row between the
chamber and the Comptroller-General of the
Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hamid Ali(rtd);
the alleged denigrating comments of the
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory
Committee Against Corruption(PACAC), Prof.
Itse Sagay and alleged constitutional breaches
by the Acting President and the Presidency in
general.
“Although the President of the Senate, Dr.
Bukola Saraki, told the party leadership that
the impeachment kite caught him unawares
and he swiftly overruled the senators behind
it, intelligence report indicated that “it was a
kite flying agenda” by some senators.

“The government does not wholly believe the
defence of the Senate leadership. It is closely
monitoring events and putting safety valves
in place, including legal dimension.

“Part of the intelligence report showed that
some senators had plotted the impeachment
script before the Tuesday session.

“Those who tabled the motion were actually
not aware that the Acting President had
returned to the country.”
It was learnt at press time yesterday that
some past leaders (names withheld) had
teamed up with the Acting President against
the threats from the Senate.

“These leaders have told the Acting President
to remain focused and ignore elements trying
to cause political upheaval in the country.
“In fact, they assured Osinbajo of their
support. These are leaders who the
government thought had identified with the
Senate.”
The tone for the impeachment process was
set by two issues raised on the floor of the
Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate had on Tuesday taken exception
to the retention of the Acting Chairman of
EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, and the Executive’s
alleged non-compliance with the resolutions
of the Senate.

The President of the Senate had said: “This is
an issue that we have to once and for all
address. We cannot pass laws and see that
the laws are not being obeyed. This resolution
must be obeyed by the Acting President,
otherwise we will take appropriate actions
and resolutions.”

On the same day, Senators Eyinanya Abaribe
and Kabiru Marafa had under Point of Order
asked the Senate President to become Acting
President in the absence of President
Muhammadu Buhari and the Acting President,
who was away for AU meeting in Addis
Ababa.

Marafa said: “If the President is not around,
the Vice President should act, and if the Vice
President is not around, the Senate President,
who is the number 3 citizen should become
Acting President.”

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