Attempt to declare Saraki acting President fails at Senate

A mild drama unfolded Tuesday at the Senate following a point of order raised to the effect that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Senate, on resumption from its three weeks break, received a letter from the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo seeking its confirmation of Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila as the Director General of National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).

The lawmakers, however, subjected the letter to deliberations, referring to earlier claim by Osinbajo that the Senate had no power to confirm nominees.

Senator Eyinanya Abaribe (Abia South), raised a motion that the country had no President or Acting President at that moment, adding that, President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo were neither in the country at the time.

This was greeted with a counter point, coming through Order 53, Rule 4 of the Senate standing rules, by Senator Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central).

Marafa who cited relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution, 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 three citizen should become acting President.”

The Senate President, however, did not allow any seconder or more comments, even when senators were anxious to support the motion. He quickly ruled Senator Marafa “out of order.”


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