Posted by By Emmanuel Aziken on
SENATOR Suleiman Ajadi (ANPP, Kwara South) yesterday vacated his seat in the Senate for Chief Sule Ajibola, his PDP opponent in the 2003 elections on the second day of the second session of his second tenure in the Senate.
ABUJA— SENATOR Suleiman Ajadi (ANPP, Kwara South) yesterday vacated his seat in the Senate for Chief Sule Ajibola, his PDP opponent in the 2003 elections on the second day of the second session of his second tenure in the Senate. Though he walked out gracefully, Ajadi until yesterday the chairman of the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, looked visibly dejected as he left the chambers of the Senate following Chief Ajibola’s submission of his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Senator Ajibola was presented the INEC certificate after the Court of Appeal upheld theverdict of the Kwara State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that he was the winner of the Kwara South senatorial election in 2003.
Also yesterday, the Senate upheld the recommendation of its ad-hoc Committee on Sea Piracy in Niger Delta, that areas suspected to be hideouts for sophisticated weapons be secured by security agencies in the region.
The move to eject Ajadi from the Senate came with the announcement by Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, of the production of an INEC certificate of return issued Chief Ajibola. The announcement was quickly followed by protests by ANPP Senators. Senator Usman Albashir, ANPP party leader urged the Senate not to condone what he described as the illegal action of INEC in issuing another certificate of return while Ajadi was in court, seeking to invalidate the constitution of the Kwara Election petition tribunal.
"I don’t know why we are doing things differently. If INEC flouts court order, it is not for us to condone the illegality," he said. The ANPP deputy leader, Senator Daniel Saror and the party’s whip, Senator Mohammed Anka waded in to help their colleague with suggestions pointing at the continued presence in the Senate of Senator Ikechukwu Abana whose election was similarly upturned by the Court of Appeal.
Their claim was, however, faulted by Senator Ken Nnamani who deposed that the person declared winner against Abana was yet to provide the INEC certificate of return.
A last minute effort by Senator Farouk Bello (ANPP, Kebbi) to save the situation for Ajadi through a plea for a closed-door session was rebuffed by Senator Wabara who insisted that the issue be concluded in an open session.
Following a submission by Senator Arthur Nzeribe that the debate on Ajadi be immediately halted, the ousted lawmaker submitted himself to the will of the majority of his former colleagues, conceding: "If my colleagues decide to swear-in my opponent, there is nothing I can do."