The Senate on Wednesday mandated the Senate President, David Mark, to seek legal advice over the letter written by 11 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defecting senators.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), made this known when he briefed newsmen after a closed session of the Senate in Abuja.
Abaribe said the Senate went into the closed session to discuss matters that were cardinal to the interest and well-being of Nigeria.
He said the session also discussed ways to address critical legal issues brought up by the letter from 11 PDP defecting senators, saying that the matter was still pending in the court.
The Senate spokesman explained that legal issues bordering on the interpretation of the Constitution and Senate Rules were thrown up in the course of the discussion.
“It was resolved that the senate president in particular would have to seek further legal advice because of the serious legal issues that was thrown up during the discussion.
“The legal issues relate to both the interpretation of the constitution and the interpretation of our rules within the Senate.
“And more time was given for further consultation. It was also resolved that when the Senate resumes plenary on Tuesday Feb. 11, it will look into the issue,” he said.
Abaribe noted that since 11 senators had gone to court over their decision, it became necessary for the Senate to suspend action until the matter was resolved by the court.
“You cannot go to court and not want to wait to get the ruling of that court and every Nigerian should know that”, Abaribe said.
In a reaction, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. George Akume, urged the Senate to resolve the matter through political means.
Akume said that the matter would be resolved when the Senate reconvenes on Feb. 11 to protect the integrity of the Senate.
“They are adequately covered by some provision of constitution and of course the issue of defection is not new.
“The senate president should look at political solution. I believe strongly that by Tuesday this matter will be laid to rest in the interest of the country”, he said.
Also, Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano) insisted that senators had the right to move to any party of their choice, especially if that was the directive of their constituencies.
“I think the solution should be political because the Senate is a united body. We should allow every individual senator who has his own view of where he wants to belong to go”, Gaya said.
Meanwhile, the Senate has adjourned to allow committees begin work on the 2014 budget which passed second reading at the Senate on Tuesday, as well as to allow All Progressives Congress, APC senators to go for their party’s membership registration, which commenced nationwide yesterday.
The Senate will reconvene on Feb.11. (NAN)