One week after a delegation from the House of Representatives returned from Saudi Arabia, there is still no report on its findings.
The five-man delegation, which was led by the Deputy Minority Leader, Alhaji Baba Shehu-Agaie, was mandated to visit ailing President Umaru Yar‘Adua in Jeddah in a bid to ascertain the true state of his health.
The group was, however, reportedly denied access to the President by his wife, Turai.
On Thursday, the Minority Leader, Alhaji Mohammed Ndume, led a protest to demand why the report of the trip had not been laid before the House.
Ndume, who was also a member of the delegation, said he was told that the report would be submitted on Thursday (yesterday) after the members of the team had signed it.
He said, “But, Mr. Speaker, I have with me the Order Paper of today and the report is not listed here.”
The Speaker, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, hurriedly stopped Ndume and asked Shehu-Agaie to explain to the House why his report was not laid.
Shehu-Agaie responded that the document was not ready because only three members had so far signed it.
According to him, one of the members, Jibril Adamu, made a detour to Dubai and has not returned.
He claimed that another member, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, travelled to Madrid, Spain, for another assignment and had not signed the report.
He said, “The minority leader was part of the delegation and he should know better. Not all of us came back.”
After listening to Shehu-Agaie, Bankole ruled that the report would be deferred till next Tuesday to be laid after the remaining two members would have signed it.
The development came as the House rejected a move by the Majority Leader, Chief Tunde Akogun, to drag it into the political crisis in Edo State.
Raising Order 8  under Matters of Urgent National Importance, Akogun alleged that Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, was about to dissolve local government councils in the state by ”fiat.”
He told the House that the governor had already suspended two local government council chairmen.
Akogun claimed that the governor‘s action was a threat to democratic principles and urged the House to endorse a motion condemning the act.
He was, however, overruled in a majority voice vote on the grounds that the matter was an internal affair of Edo State.
Meanwhile, the federal lawmaker representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Senator Hosea Ehinlanwo, has said that Yar‘Adua will be impeached whenever the Federal Executive Council declares him unfit to perform his duties.
Ehinlanwo, who spoke with journalists in Ugbonla, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State on Wednesday, explained that the Senate had formally requested FEC to write and inform it on Yar’Adua’s true state of health.
He said the issue of the President’s impeachment would be a follow-up to the National Assembly’s declaration of Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President.
He said, “We have to look into the constitution and the only way through which we can act is section 145 of the constitution.
“The Senate had been able to act with it by ensuring that the powers and functions of the President are being gradually transferred to Jonathan by asking him to hold the position of the Acting President because Nigeria must move forward.
“The impeachment will come as a follow-up if the people (members of the Federal Executive Council) are able to perform their role, because we have asked them to forward a letter to us.
“Section 144, which will mandate FEC to pass a vote of no confidence (in ailing President Umaru Yar‘Adua), will translate to the issue of impeachment that he is not able to perform his functions.
“We want FEC to testify to the fact that he (Yar‘Adua) is sick and unable to perform the functions of his office. We have done one aspect.
“We succeeded in making Jonathan the Acting President; that aspect had been certified because the impeachment exercise will have to follow its strict rules. FEC, with whom Yar‘Adua worked everyday, must certify that the sickness or incapability of the President has made him unfit to perform his roles.”
However, the National Association of Nigerian Students has disagreed with the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties over the calls for Yar’Adua’s impeachment.
While NANS cautioned those clamouring for the removal of the President, the CNPP has called on the National Assembly to commence the process of Yar’Adua’s impeachment.
In a statement on Thursday, the President of NANS, Mr. Ini Ememobong, warned that removing the President might heat up the polity.
Ememobong said that since the National Assembly had intervened in the political logjam caused by the prolonged absence of Yar’Adua by authorising Jonathan to act as President, it would be too early to start calling for the President’s removal.
The NANS president said, “The National Assembly, acting under the ‘necessity principle,’ rose to the occasion and salvaged our country. It may have been expected that the tension would reduce with the empowerment of Jonathan.
“It is shocking that after such systematic intervention of the National Assembly, some people were reported in the media to have called for the impeachment of the President.
“It shows that such a call was not based on principles.”
But the Akwa Ibom State CNPP Chairman, Chief David Ekanem, argued that Yar’Adua committed an impeachable offence when he refused to write the National Assembly about his medical trip to Saudi Arabia.
Ekanem, who is also the state chairman of the Action Congress, pointed out that it was better for the President to be impeached for dereliction of duty than to allow the fate of Nigerians to hang in the balance.
To him, “Nigerians are compassionate people and they have shown a lot of compassion to the President. But the fact remains that up till now, no letter has been written to the National Assembly on the President’s health.
“We are aware that some lawmakers who went to Saudi Arabia to visit Yar’Adua were not allowed to see him. For how long should we condone such disregard for constituted authorities?”
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