Senate defers action on emergency, denies bribery allegation

Posted by News Express | 20 November 2014 | 3,029 times

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Senators failed again yesterday to agree on President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for an extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The debate on the presidential request started on Tuesday with most senators from the North stoutly opposing the extension.

Senators, after more than two hours, resolved to continue the discussion on the controversial request today

The lawmakers also resolved to invite the Service Chiefs for discussion.

The Senate also mandated Senate President David Mark is to contact governors of the affected states for more information and for their input.

After the session, Mark said: “The Senate in executive session discussed the letter from Mr. President on the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. We had a very robust and detailed discussion and we will continue the discussion tomorrow (today).”

The Senate President asked whether what he said was a true reflection of what transpired in the Executive Session. Senators answered in the affirmative.

Mark also said, “the Senate resolved that we will invite the Service Chiefs to appear before the Senate and be part of our discussion tomorrow (today).”

He adjourned plenary till today.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, threw more light on the executive session.

Abaribe said “the discussion was very frank, robust and sometimes very acrimonious”.

He said the governors of the affected states would be contacted by the Senate President for more information.

The information offered by the governors, he said, would assist the Senate to arrive at an acceptable decision.

He dismissed the allegation that the Presidency brought money to influence the lawmakers to approve the request.

Abaribe, who described the allegation of bribery as “utter rubbish”, noted that if senators had been induced to approve the request, they would they have continued to debate the issue.

Abaribe was optimistic of a breakthrough today after members might have armed themselves with information.

A source at the closed session said the chamber was charged throughout the debate.

He said some senators, especially those opposed to granting the President’s request, were combative in their approach to the debate.

•Adapted from THE NATION. Photo shows the Senate in session.

Source: News Express

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