Wednesday, 30 September 2015

David Mark Walks Out As Senate Endorses Senate President, Saraki

The major issues of focus today Wednesday, September 30, in the Nigerian daily newspapers are on the vote of confidence passed on the leadership of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and the demise of one of Nigeria’s finest Technocrats, Gamaliel Onosode.

A vote of confidence was on Tuesday, September 30, passed on the senate president, Olubukola Saraki, the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and the entire leadership of the Senate, Vanguard reports.

There had been speculation that the Senate president was losing the grasp of his supporters in the Senate on an account of the alleged false assets declaration suit he is facing at the Code of Conduct of Tribunal (CCT) and might be asked to step aside as Senate president. But move has ended such supposition.

The Senate session however, became stormy as some members of the upper legislative chamber protested the passing of vote of confidence on Saraki by 83 senators, The Punch reports.

The Senate had been on break since August 13. Since Saraki was slammed with 13-count charge by the Code of Conduct Bureau on the ground of false assets declaration, there had not been any plenary session except Tuesday’s being the first.

The Union also carries the news on the endorsement of the Senate president. It reports that as Saraki and Ekweremadu regaled in the confidence boost, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, lauded Saraki for submitting himself to the judicial process as requested by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The vote of confidence was backed by senators, who were made up of 48 senators of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and 35 senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

It was reported that Senator Kabiru Marafa from Zamfara state made every attempt to disrupt proceedings of the plenary but was abortive.

The Union front page, Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Furthermore, Daily Sun on its front page carries the vote of confidence report as its major stories.

The report says that against the vote, Senator Babajide Omoworare, chairman of the Senate committee on rules and business quickly dissociated himself from the motion, vehemently denying being a co-sponsor even as he said his view was not sought before it was published in the Order Paper.

While the rumpus went, immediate past Senate President David Mark quietly walked out of the chamber.

The Nation newspaper reports that President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday in New York that he will not interfere in the ongoing trial of the Senate president stressing that he will allow the court process to run its course.

But Saraki’s supporters are said to be pleading with emirs and other prominent citizens to put in a word for the Senate president.

Buhari noted that it would be an impeachable offence if he intervened.

The Nation front page, Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Meanwhile, Nigeria yesterday lost one of her finest technocrats, Deacon Gamaliel Offoritsenere Onosode, fondly referred to as ‘Mr Integrity’ by his admirers. He died at the age of 82 after a protracted illness, The Guardian reports.

The family spokesperson, Ese Onosode, said that the elder statesman was, on Sunday night, flown in alive from the United Kingdom in an Air Ambulance in line with his wishes.

The Senate said it would protect the interest of Nigerians by ensuring thorough screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees. The list of the nominees will be presented to the senators today, September 30.