Report gathered that a walk-out staged by senators of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the screening and subsequent confirmation of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as minister could not stop the Senate yesterday, as it confirmed his nomination among six other ministerial nominees.
The spirited protest of the opposition legislators, led by Senators Bukola Saraki, APC, Kwara Central and Ganiyu Solomon, APC, Lagos West, who raised points of order to stop Obanikoro’s confirmation by the senate along seven other ministerial nominees screened before him, made the Senate session to be dramatic and tension-soaked.
The drama started immediately the Senate resolved to commence the screening of the last four ministerial nominees slated for yesterday, through a motion moved by the Leader of the Senate, represented by the Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi, PDP, Bauchi Central.
Ningi had raised order 15 of the Senate rules under personal privilege, to remind the Senate President, David Mark, that the Senate resolved last week during closed door session, to have another closed door session before carrying out screening on one of the four, Musuliu Obanikoro.
But the Senate President ruled him out of order by declaring that executive session is not a privilege but just a decision that can be made by the Senate at any time is deemed necessary.
At this point, Senators Saraki and Gbenga Ashafa made spirited efforts to stop Obanikoro’s screening by raising order 53(5) of the Senate standing rules which states “that reference should not be made by the Senate to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as might in the opinion of the Senate President, prejudice the interest of parties thereto.”
But David Mark in ruling him out of order, said nobody has served him any notice on the case and therefore, as far as he was concerned, “there is no case in court against the subject matter before the senate for legislative consideration.”
After Ashafa, came Senator Babajide Omoworare, APC, Osun East, who as a constitutional lawyer, quoted relevant sections of the constitution and senate’s standing rules, to aid his opposition against Obanikoro’s screening but was also ruled out of order by the Senate President.