The planned inclusion of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives among public officers to enjoy immunity threw the Lower Chamber into a rowdy session today.
The Minority leader of the House of Reps, Leo Ogor called for the amendment of the Section 308, noting that only the President, Vice President, Governors and their deputies presently enjoy immunity.
He advocated the inclusion of the leaders of the National Assembly.
However, the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila objected, stressing that in other climes, heads of parliament do not enjoy immunity.
He argued that even if it would work, the timing was wrong especially now that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is facing trials. This sparked a rowdy session in the House.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara abruptly ended debate and referred the bill to the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Amendment headed by the Deputy Speaker,Yussuff Lasun.
The upper legislative chamber also broke into an uproar with some members threatening President Muhammad Buhari with impeachment, and Dino Melaye threatening to beat up Remi Tinubu, the wife of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader.
The Senators who met behind closed doors were enraged by the trial of the leadership of the Senate for forgery.
Shortly after commencement of a plenary session, some Senators called on their colleagues, led by Senators Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi (APC Kaduna North) and Kabir Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) to bury the hatchet and withdraw the petition that had led to the criminal prosecution of Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West) said in his remarks that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, must be brought before the Senate to be thoroughly grilled and humiliated for charging the Senate leadership with forgery in court.
Mr. Melaye called on the Senators in attendance to fight the presidency to a standstill. In his rant, he issued a wide variety of threats.
When recognized to speak, Senator Remi Tinubu (APC) Lagos Central said the Senate should not be reduced to a kindergarten where Senators could just issue childish threats, and called on Senators to close ranks and seek reconciliation amongst its members.
This threw Melaye into a fit and he called her unprintable names.
“I will beat you up on this floor and nothing will happen,” he threatened.
The statement caused a commotion on the floor as Senators in her support gathered to protect her.
Leading the offensive in support of Melaye were Senators Danjuma Goje, Jibrin Barau, Isa Misau and Peter Nwaoboshi.
In addition, the Senators held to be behind the current forgery trial were threatened by the like-minded Senators, with Melaye threatening to kill anyone who shows up in court to testify against Saraki and Ekweremadu.
There is clear indications of a crack in Saraki’s camp as some members have already pulled out or reduced their open support for him due to his many scandals. Senator Ali Ndume (APC) Borno South has since fallen out with the Senate President because he was openly accused of being too close to Buhari and nursing the ambition of becoming the Senate President. Ndume was absent from today’s gathering.