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August 17, 2018

Lawyers reveal the easy and only way to impeach Saraki

Some lawyers fault attempts by few senators to impeach Senate president Bukola Saraki. Leading the pack is Lawyer and human right activist Femi Falana who calls for the planned removal of the Senate president by the APC to be stopped.

Furthermore, they 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.

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.

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.

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