The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has said the only way the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, can avoid being impeached is to resign.
Oshiomhole said this while addressing journalists at the APC national secretariat, in Abuja, on Friday.
He vowed that the senate president would be removed from office in accordance to the law and democratic norms.
He was reacting to claims by the senate president and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services was a failed attempt to force a leadership change in the legislature.
The APC national chairman said, “Saraki is not going to be the first senate president to be impeached and I doubt if he is going to be the last, but definitely he will be impeached according to law and to democratic norms.
“The only way Saraki can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable which again leads to the issue of character.”
He said that unlike Saraki, Senator Akpabio, who defected from the PDP to the APC, resigned as the Minority Leader.
Oshiomhole stated that the first thing Akpabio did was to inform the PDP and resigned honourably.
“Senator Saraki has demonstrated neither character nor being a man of honour,” the APC national chairman said.
While recalling what happened at the National Assembly on Tuesday, Oshiomhole alleged that Saraki made unsubstantiated allegations to the effect that the event was an attempt to illegally impeach him.
He queried how the senate president could arrive at the conclusion that there was a plan to illegally impeach him when the action had yet to take place.
“Until an action takes place, how can you determine the status?” Oshiomhole asked.
The APC chairman said, “If the impeachment by itself is unlawful, then you can probably understand where it is coming from.
“But it is lawful to impeach anyone including the President of the Senate, including the deputy president of the Senate, if the number required to do so is present, so he cannot preempt. As they say, you don’t have to be a pathological liar before you understand this common saying, ‘Once you start with one lie, you will need a series of lies to support that one lie.”
He alleged that from his own admission at the world press conference a day after the invasion, the senate president said they (he and his PDP colleagues) were aware that the Senate President was to be illegally impeached.
He said, “Therefore, they mobilised thugs, they mobilised their journalists and cameramen to the Senate. They told the world they had adjourned till 25th of September, meanwhile, about 15 PDP senators were in the Senate for the event, and they imported hundreds of thugs that molested one or two of our members that they sighted in the premises of the Senate.
“In order to evade the lies, I ask you as defender of democracy, did you find any APC senator in the senate? So, if the APC senators were not in the senate, and its PDP senators that were in the senate, what is the basis of the false report that there were attempts to carry out illegal impeachment?”
Oshiomhole alleged that Saraki ambition was at the heart of senate president’s disagreement with the APC.
He alleged that Saraki initially had about 36 APC Senators he wanted to defect along with him but that his (Oshiomhole’s) administration took pre-emptive steps which led to some of the Senators having a change of heart.
Oshiomhole said, “The first meeting we held after our election was with Senator Saraki to try and listen to his grievances and this I did in company of the Vice President and he acknowledged that those steps were taken when he was leaving, to listen to what I called negotiable and verifiable grievances.
“But however, his real grievances are not negotiable which is about ambition, value and his fundamental values and the values of the APC. When he defected, he went to Ilorin to tell the people part of the truth that he was leaving for two reasons.
“He alleged that Buhari gave out over 200 juicy appointments without allocating some to him and he chose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives that he was also not given. He lamented that he was not given a share of the so-called 200 juicy positions.
Oshiomhole said it was neither the Federal Government nor the APC that linked the Senate President to the Offa robbery case.
He stated, “A crime that led to the killing of about 35 persons cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand and in any jurisdiction, when your name is linked to such heinous crime, people don’t clap for you. It is the duty of the security agents to investigate and establish whether they are valid or invalid.
“So, if he was linked to armed robbery that cannot be an offense of the government or the APC. The best defense I have heard is that the robbers said that he did not ask them to use the weapon for armed robbery.”
He alleged that the senate president had consistently undermined the Buhari-led APC administration. He cited the abrupt declaration of the Senate vacation on Tuesday instead to Thursday as earlier scheduled, as a deliberate ploy to further delay the passage of the INEC budget and the President’s request for virement.
Saraki, in his response to Oshiomhole through his Special Adviser (Media), Yusuph Olaniyonu, debunked the APC chairman’s allegations, and maintained that he would not step down.
A million Oshiomholes cannot remove Saraki -Aide
Saraki, in his response on Friday, said a thousand men in the mold of the APC chairman could not remove him as Senate President.
He also described calls by Oshiomhole as wishful thinking.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Yusuph Olaniyonu.
The statement read in part “We hereby assure this garrulous, tactless and reckless APC chairman that a million of Adams Oshiomhole cannot remove Saraki as Senate President. His illegal plots, can only feed his insatiable ego and keep him awake at nights. But it will remain an exercise in futility.
He said Oshiomhole by his conduct and utterances, needed to do more to convince Nigerians that his desperate desire to become party chairman was not simply to feed his over-sized ego.
“The position of Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the APC that the Senate President must resign is a mere wishful thinking.
“They will continue to dream about their planned removal of the Senate President. They will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove Dr. Saraki and they will never get that in the present eight Senate.
“The argument of APC that the Senate President must come from a majority party; that the Senate Presidency is their crown and National Assembly is their palace is only supported by ignorance and dangerous delusion.
“First, the issue of which party is in the majority will only be resolved when the Senate resume.
“Two, Section 50 (1) (a) of the constitution is clear that any Senator can be elected as Senate President. If the only thing left of the APC change agenda is to change the Senate President we can only wish them good luck.”