Controversy as Buhari sends dangerous signal to Saraki

By Amako Nneji April 26, 2016 17:50

Controversy as Buhari sends dangerous signal to Saraki

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, April 26, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, behind closed door at the Presidential Villa, Abuja in a bid to resolve the controversies surrounding the 2016 budget, thereby boycotting the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

In a bid to resolve grey areas in the Budget, the President had withheld his assent since the Budget was passed by the National Assembly.

In the meeting which lasted for about 30 minutes, Saraki was conspicuously absent.

This happened almost the same time when a group of protesters called #OccupyNASS descended on the premises of the National Assembly calling for the immediate resignation of the Senate President.

Related: Saraki’s Supporters, Protesters clash at National Assembly

Saraki is being prosecuted by the Federal Government before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on a 13-count charge of false asset declaration in the forms he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, between 2003 and 2011 when he served as Governor of Kwara state.

Among those at the closed door meeting included; the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang.

Kyari, told journalists that the Speaker could not have spoken to them, because there are two leaderships of the two chambers of the National Assembly and that only one of the leaderships visited.

Enang also declined to comment on the issue.

During the visit, security men attached to the Presidential Villa prevented State House correspondents from getting close to Dogara.

The security gate by the Council Chambers leading to the President’s office was locked to prevent journalists from reaching Dogara as he headed for his vehicle immediately after the meeting.

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However, President Buhari last night met with the leadership of the National Assembly led by the Senate President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Budget will be ready for the President’s assent next week, it was learnt.

The closed door meeting, which was attended by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, started about 9.20 pm and ended at 9.30 pm at the First Lady’s Conference Room.

House Speaker, Dogara, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker of the House, Yusuf Lasun also attended the meeting.

Others include the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio; House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and other leaders of the National Assembly.