– The Presidency-National Assembly crisis is taking another dimension
– The presidency has dismissed the news going around the corner that President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to the Senate based on the behaviour of an official of the ministry of justice.
Senator Ita Enang, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), explained on Friday, July 1 that the said report saying he said Buhari apologised to the Senate was never from him. Enang was said to have begged the Senate on behalf of the president based on the comments made by Okoi Obono-Obla, a special assistant to the president on prosecution.
Premium Times learnt that Senator Enang said he only begged the senators in his own personal capacity. On Thursday, June 30, Obono-Obla was reported to have questioned the authority of the Nigerian Senate to call upon the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN). In addition, Obono-Obla was alleged to have said the presidency has no faith in the Senate Judiciary Committee which summoned the justice minister.
The Attorney-General had told Obono-Obla to stand in for him at a Senate Committee meeting, which was to check the reasons surrounding the trial of Senate president, Bukola Sakari, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged forgery of Senate standing rules. The senate committee however did not permit Obono-Obla to stand in for the justice minister, who was said to have travelled overseas at that time.
President Buhari’s aide, Enang said the reason behind him calling a press conference was to calm frayed nerves regarding the presidency-National Assembly crisis. He stated: “I am a presidential liaison officer and I apologise for the inability of the Attorney-General to appear before the Senate when he was invited. He received a letter of invitation after he had already planned an official trip. “I said the attorney general will meet with the chairman of the Senate committee hearing the matter. “I apologise for his comments. From what I heard, he was not complimentary to the senate,” Mr. Enang said. “We didn’t need to cause more trouble between the presidency and the Senate.” Enang further said the apology was of his own volition and has nothing to do with the president, saying that “would be terrible,” for the president to beg the upper arm of the National Assembly. He added that: “The president has not apologised. It is me that is apologising for the inappropriate action of the person representing the Attorney-General.” It was reported earlier today that Senator Enang apologised to the Senate over the comment of the Representative of the Attorney General of the Federation during a meeting with the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.