By David Odama
The Senate on Tuesday adjourned plenary following the siege by security operatives to the residences of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, respectively.
The senate is expected to resume plenary on September 25.
The residences of the two presiding officers were taken over and cordoned off by men of the police, operatives of the Department of State Security and officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In separate reactions to a debate on the siege to the lawmakers’ residences, lawmakers said they could not continue sitting as a result of the development.
In a motion, Chukuwuka Utazi, recalled that he left Enugu for Abuja and halfway into the airport, he got a distress call from one of his aides that their entire street had been blocked and no one could go in or out of the compound.
“As we speak, people of Enugu State in Abuja have moved to his house and are there shouting under the rain wondering what is happening to our brother and what offence he could have committed. His family members could not go to work today. We want to know what he has done. We had insinuations that today’s seating is going to be turbulent and will not even hold.
“This is uncalled for. It will not help our democracy. Our people are afraid and are asking that he be given his freedom back,” Utazi stated.
Another senator, Sam Anyawu, said there had to be an explanation for the cordoning of the lawmakers’ residences.
“I’m sure by the time some of us will leave here, there will be a siege at our place because it is part of the things we suffer for democracy. It is unfair that it is within this period that we have a new administration we believe that will protect Nigerians, that Nigerians are now afraid of going to their homes. We demand to know why the police should lay siege at his residence.
“The security agencies should vacate his house and give him official invitation which he will honour. It is Saraki and Ekweremadu today, it could be somebody else tomorrow,” Anyawu said.
Senate President Bukola Saraki for his part, said he came to the National Assembly to ensure plenary holds.
“The road leading to my place was cornered off and all cars coming in and out as early as 6:30 were being stopped and you have to come down,” Saraki said.
“My convoy was stopped from moving. Given something that one was prepared for, I had my own car too. So the deputy senate president called me and said he could not come here.
“And as you are all aware, very late yesterday, at about 8pm, I received a letter asking me to report to the police on a case of this offa robbery which had been concluded before now.
“But as you all rightly said, if one of our colleagues cannot come out for no fault of his, I don’t see how we can continue to sit and ignore the fact that a presiding officer cannot be here. It was just by the intervention of the Almighty God that I was able to get myself here,” Saraki stated.