Lawyers insist Saraki can only be impeach by 73 senators

Lawyers insist Saraki can only be impeach by 73 senators

- Some lawyers faults attempts by few senators to impeach Senate president Bukola Saraki

- Femi Falana calls for the planned removal of the Senate president by the APC to be stopped

- Godswill Akpabio says any attempt to declare his seat at the Senate vacant will not work

Some lawyers in the country have explained that Senate president, Bukola Saraki, can only be impeached by two-third of all the 109 senators, and not just a simple two-thirds of those present at a sitting.

The legal practitioners told Daily Sun that the constitutionally recommended number of senators required to impeach Saraki is 73 senators.

Human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), insisted that only 73 senators and not 24 lawmaker can remove the Senate president.

READ ALSO: APC senators as of August 14, 2018 (full list)

He said: "Much ink has been spilled and much needless rocus generated by the argument that a mere 24 Senators can lawfully remove Saraki as Senate President.Nothing can be further from the truth.Expectedly, this skewed view emanates mostly from pro-government lawyers and commentators, baying for the blood of Saraki,who had defected from the ruling APC to the opposition PDP, inspite of sustained, spirited and overt pressures by the President, presidency and the APC leadership not to do so.

“This interpretation however stands both reasoning and logic on their heads.It is full of puff and emotion, more of lachrymal effusion, than of solid law or constitutionalism. I shall show this anon. In statutory interpretation, one cannot import into a law that which is not so specifically stated."

Another human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), called for the planed removal of the Senate president, Saraki by the APC to be stopped. He said Saraki’s can only be removed by two thirds majority of senators.

“The attention of APC legislators ought to be drawn to section 52 of the Constitution which provides that the President and Deputy Senate President can only be removed by the resolution supported by the votes of not less two thirds majority of the entirety of the members of the Senate. Since the APC legislators cannot muster the required two thirds majority of the votes of the entire members the plan to impeach Senator Saraki should be dropped forthwith,” Falana said.

Another senior lawyer who spoke to Daily Sun explained that what is required to impeach a Senate president is the two-thirds of the entirety of the senators.

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Citing past instances of impeachment, he said: “While Enwerem was impeached by 90 senators, 80 members voted out Okadigbo, thus, exceeding even the 73 two-thirds that is constitutionally demanded.”

He said if the debate was reduced to the two-thirds of members present and voting, what it means is that where 30 senators were present, only 20 could conveniently remove the senate president in a house of 109 members.

But the senior lawyer noted that this would have made nonsense of the intentions of the framers of the constitution, who envisaged that there could be mischief in the attempt to remove a senate president, which only requires a few disgruntled elements to gather at the chambers and announce a leadership change.

Meanwhile, the former minority leader at the Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio, who recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to an alleged plan to declare his seat vacant.

The Akwa Ibom senator declared on Monday, August 13, that any move to declare his seat vacant in the Senate will prove abortive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akpabio said he was yet to hear about the plan to declare his seat vacant.

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