.Northern Senators Forum removes Pro-Buhari Senator Adamu
.Accuses him of embezzling N70m .Sen Adamu keeps mum
.Sen Omo- Agege makes U-Turn, apologises to senators
.Monkeys in Abdulahi’s farm ate our money – Sen Shehu Sani
The Senate is increasingly turning into a hot bed of high wire politics ahead of 2019 as senators have now engage in intense horse-trading, positioning themselves in political caucuses likely to have an edge in the immediate future.
Indications to this emerged during Wednesday plenary as the Northern Senators Forum sacked its leader, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa) replacing him with another APC senator representing Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.
Adamu’s removal by the Northern Senators came after he led nine of his colleagues to oppose the passage of the amendment to the electoral act, which placed the Presidential election last after those of National Assembly, State and Governorship elections.
One of the Senators who joined Abdullahi in opposing the amendment with threat of suspension coming from the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta) rose during the plenary to tender apologies to his colleagues on the stand he earlier took.
The swift apology from Omo-Agege to the Senate is considered a smart move to avoid a pending hammer, as the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions set up to probe him may end up imposing sanction against him.
But the Senate had already referred the case of Omo-Agege to the Privileges Committee for investigations and may appear before the Committee at a date to be fixed.
Abdullahi, Omo-Agege and other eight senators had accused the Senate after passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill of targeting President Muhammadu Buari on the re-ordered sequence of the 2019 general elections.
The process leading to the removal of Senator Abdullahi started when the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the Plenary, read a letter from the Northern Senators Forum indicating his removal.
According to the letter signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Forum, Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Adamu was removed for “financial mismanagement and other related matters.”
His colleagues in the Northern Senators Forum said he misappropriated about N70 million put in his custody by the Northern Senators.
The letter reads: “This is to inform the Senate that the majority signatories of members of the Northern Senators Forum have removed Sen. Abdullahi Adamu as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum for financial mismanagement and misadministration.
“We announce his replacement with Senator Aliyu Wamakko immediately. Find the attached names and signatories of members”.
Incidentally, Adamu is one of the senators who has been rooting for President Buhari, where as, his outburst against the leadership of the Senate last week on the re-ordered sequence of election was viewed as a mark of crack in the Senate.
Adamu, in open demonstration of support for Buhari, had addressed the media at the close of last week, attacking former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the letter he wrote to Buhari, advising him against seeking re-election.
He had chided Obasanjo on the position he took against Buhari, insisting that Obasanjo should have been in jail on alleged infamies traced to his eight years of administration.
There are indications that the Senate is never disposed to entertaining crack within its fold as it had similarly dealt with Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume who in defence of the President, accused the Senate leadership and Senator Dino Melaye of unbecoming conduct and got suspended on recommendation by the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee.
Before being suspended, Ndume was removed as the Senate Leader by the Senate leadership and was replaced by Senator Ahmed Lawan, hitherto an ace supporter of the President.
Speaking on the apology by Senator Omo-Agege, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Sabi Aliyu Abdulahi, said despite the apology, the senator will still appear before the disciplinary Committee mandated to look into his case.
Sen Abdulahi, while addressing the media on Wednesday, said though by apologising at plenary, Senator Omo-Agege “had shortened the process”, it is left to the committee to take a decision after interrogating him and report back to the whole house at the chamber.
He said: “When he gets there, he will know whether he has been forgiven or not”.
Harping on maintaining the integrity of the Senate as an institution, Sen Abdulahi said there are laid down procedures to follow if any Senator feels aggrieved.
He said: “We must not do things that will denigrate or reduce the credibility of this institution. Whatever we do, we must follow our rules and order”.
He said the chamber as a democratic institution will not be used to witch-hunt any member, but will do things procedurally.
The Deputy Senate President had earlier at plenary told Sen Omo-Agege that though his apology was noted, he has to wait for the outcome of the Committee report, asking him to explain himself and tender his apology before the committee when called upon.
Also at a media briefing, a member of the Northern Senators Forum, Senataor Shehu Sani (Kaduna-APC), spoke in a lighter mood on the alleged misappropriation of the caucus money, stating that the amount of N70 million involved had been eaten by monkeys in a farm house.
He said: “When we assumed office, Senator Ahmed Lawan tendered the sum of N70 million to the 8th Senate. That N70 million was money gathered from the 7th Senate. It was handed over to Northern senators of 8th Senate.
“The rumours going round, which I don’t know whether it’s true but I believe other senators know, is the fact that there were allegations that some monkeys raided the farm house of some of the executives of the Northern senators forum and carted away some of these money.
“I think, this country is becoming a huge joke. First of all, it was the rodents that drove away the president and then we now have snakes consuming about N36million and now we have monkeys raiding farmhouse.
“So, they don’t want this to be said but I believe that we should be very clear.”
Speaking on the change, Senator Melaye said the decision was that of the majority in the forum.
Attempt to get Senator Abdullahi’s comment on the development proved abortive as he left the Senate building after sitting while none of his aides were willing to speak at press time.