Akpabio may lose seat when National Assembly reconvenes

By Uche Mbah

Senate may not reconvene on Tuesday 14th August 2018 as is being speculated in certain quarters. It has been discovered that as at Monday, the 13th, the Senate Presidency, through the Clark of the house, have not issued any memo to the senators to reconvene after the National Assembly went on Recess.

It will be recalled that the All Progressives Congress, APC, chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had insisted on National television that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, must be impeached within the confines of the Law. He has allegedly mandated the APC Senators to put in every effort towards the impeachment of the leadership of National Assembly. But this appears to be an uphill task since election of the senate as long as the Senate has formed a quorum, by the impeachment of same requires the signatures of two-thirds of the total number of senators, which are 109. In this case it requires 73 Senators to impeach Saraki. As things stand now, 49 people have appended their signatures in solidarity with the Senate President. So even if both principal officers were kept away, their impeachment will be illegal.

Apart from that, there have been allegations that Senators who decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to APC were never announced by the Senate President on the floor of the Senate. This includes Senator Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom state, who recently decamped to APC amongst fanfare.  His decamping may have cost him his seat as it does not follow due process of the law. The law stipulates, among other things, that for anyone to decamp from one party to the other, there must be a split within the party he is leaving. Smartly, Saraki and co created a split in APC with the formation of rAPC, which created an avenue for the decampees to legally decamp. It happened during the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan, when a split produced nPDP to allow decampees like Tambuwal to achieve their aim. And who ever decamps from one party to another without fulfilling the conditions may have his seat declared vacant.

Meanwhile, Godswill Akpabio is no longer finding it easy in his new position as the state leader of APC. In fact, a group led by the party Chieftain, Emmanuel Sam, had insisted that they will never accept him as their leader in APC. “We cannot be led by a man who was brutal to us. We have not forgotten that his brutality made some members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria to move into what is called the APC today. He can never lead us. We will resist it,” he said.

Besides, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has indicated that they are still after Akpabio even after he has decamped to APC. He was meant to have decamped with two governors from South south and South east, the deputy governor of Akwa Ibom state, the Speaker of the house of Assembly and others. He has not been able to fulfill his own side of the bargain. Things became so worked up that his wife, Unoma Akpabio, was overheard complaining bitterly that “we have done what they want us to do. What else do they want? If things continue like this I will decamp back to the PDP even without my husband”, she was said to have blurted out. Last year, EFCC seized her school as part of the investigations into alleged financial impropriety. He had earlier proposed her for deputy governorship under Udom Emmanuel, but it was rejected prior to the 2015 elections.

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