There was a melodrama Tuesday, during the plenary session on Tuesday, which has left Nigerians curious about the reasons for the altercation between the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume.
Senator Ali Ndume, chief whip of the senate dramatically stormed out of the red chamber after he was ruled out of order by Senate President Godswill Akpabio. The moment that ignited uproar disrupting the plenary session has left Nigeria with more questions than answers. Many are still wondering what has transpired between the duo resulting in such an unprecedented fracas on the national stage.
Before the dramatic episode, Ndume had cited order 54 of the standing rules to draw attention to how Akpabio presides over the affairs of the senate. It was a sequel to the citation by the Chief Whip that the commotion occurred.
The Borno senator said proceedings under Akpabio are most times not in line with the standing rules of the senate.
“There are some things we do in this chamber that are against our rules,” he said.
Recall that this is happening barely 24 hours that the sacked Nigerian federal lawmaker from Adamawa State, Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North senatorial district indicted Senate President Godswill Akpabio, of being behind the nullification of his election at the Court of Appeal.
The Court had accordingly ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Senator Abbo and issue the same to Rev. Amos Yohanna Kumai of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Reacting to the Monday judgement, Senator Abbo on his verified Facebook page, had said, “The Court Appeal in Abuja just voided my election. Thegang-upp has temporarily worked. I will soon address the press.”
Speaking on his sack, while addressing pressmen at his place, Abbo claimed four other senators who worked against the emergence of Akpabio as Senate President had been targeted for removal from the Red Chamber through the court.
Abbo specifically mentioned Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC Abia North) as the next target for removal from the Senate.
He was quoted by Daily Trust as saying: “I have it from a reliable source that myself and four other senators within the fold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be removed from the Senate through rulings from the courts, all because of working against the emergence of Akpabio as President of the 10th Senate.
“I won’t mention the names of all the four other ones targeted but the next in line is Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.”
He expressed his surprise that with over 11,000 votes margin of victory he had above his closest rival, Yohanna Amos Yohanna of the Peoples Democratic Party in the election, the Appeal Court overturned his victory.
“The court judgment is strange and the judiciary needs to please remain the last hope of the common man,” Abbo said.
He, however, appealed to his supporters to remain calm, vowing to re-contest in 2027.
Although the Akpabio has debunked the allegation. Addressing the press, Eseme Eyiboh, media aide to the Senate President said his principal has no hand in the court judgment, which sacked Abbo from the Senate.
“It is unfortunate if he said that Akpabio was responsible for his removal. That’s the swan song of a man looking for scapegoats,” Eyiboh said.
“The Court of Appeal across the country decides cases based on the provisions of the Electoral Act and evidence advanced by petitioners. The Senate President has no reason to witch-hunt any of his colleagues,” he added.
Consequently, there are ongoing speculations that the Senate President might either resign or be impeached amidst growing rifts.
While some have assumed the Senate Chief Whip has a personal rift between the two, others have a contrary opinion.