The election for the next Senate President of the ninth National Assembly holds tomorrow and the two contenders for the position meets with senators-elect to woo them into voting for them. The two major contenders vying for the position of Senate President are Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume.
Meanwhile concerned Nigerians have filed a law suit to the Federal High Court Lagos to stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying the incoming ninth National Assembly members the N4.86b welcome package.
Major Nigeria Newspapers have more on this stories:
Punch Newspaper: Battle for Senate presidency hots up as Lawan, Ndume meet PDP senators-elect
The two contenders for the position of the Senate presidency on Sunday intensified efforts to woo senators-elect ahead of Tuesday’s election for the leadership of the 9th National Assembly. While the immediate past Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, met the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and some other Peoples Democratic Party senators, there were indications that Senator Ali Ndume, had got the support of some members of the opposition parties.
One of our correspondents gathered that apart from Ekweremadu, other PDP senators-elect including Eyinnaya Abaribe, Emmanuel Bwacha, Dino Melaye, Theodore Orji, Philip Aduda, and James Manager, were in attendance when Lawan met the former DSP.
The spokesperson for the Senator Ahmad Lawan Campaign Organisation, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, confirmed that the meeting was held in the early hours of Sunday. He said, “The 9th Senate is poised to deliver on the expectations of Nigerians, without taking them for granted. Senator Ahmad Lawan in company with other senators-elect on the platform of the APC met with some PDP senators this (Sunday) morning in the residence of the Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. “There were some other PDP senators on hand in Senator Ekweremadu’s house to receive Senator Lawan and members of his campaign team.”
He said Lawan would emerge the Senate President on Tuesday.
Guardian Newspaper: Nigerians want court to stop N4.68b welcome pay for NASS
Some concerned Nigerians have filed a suit against the payment of over N4.68 billion as ‘welcome package’ to the incoming members of the ninth National Assembly. In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos at the weekend, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE), are asking the court to restrain, prevent and stop the National Assembly Service Commission from paying individually and/or collectively, the ‘welcome package’.
The defendants are the senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives, National Assembly Service Commission and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). The plaintiffs are also seeking an order restraining, preventing and stopping all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives from collecting or demanding N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 as furniture and accommodation allowance due to each of them until the downward review of the pay and allowances of the lawmakers by the RMAFC.
SERAP, BudgIT and EiE, suing for themselves and on behalf of 1,522 concerned Nigerians, stated: “The RMAFC has failed to do any downward review of salaries and allowances of members of the National Assembly since 2007 in spite of the economic downturn in Nigeria. Yet, the commission is statutorily required to review the pay of the lawmakers, in conformity with the country’s economic realities and to achieve fiscal efficiency.”
The plaintiffs are also seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the N10,132,000:00 and N9,926,062.5 allotted to each senator and member of the House of Representatives as furniture and accommodation allowances are in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1] of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999; oath of office [Seventh Schedule] of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 and Section 6 of the RMAFC Act 2004.
They further seek an order of court compelling the RMAFC to review and reduce the amount prescribed for each senator and member of the House of Representatives as furniture and accommodation allowances in accordance with Section 6 of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act 2004.
Sun Newspaper: Senate presidency: Lawan, Ndume hold last minute talks with PDP
There are strong indications that the politics and intrigues that may determine who carries the day, between the two front runners for the office of the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume from Yobe and Borno states respectively, may continue till midnight today, with the duo making serious efforts to have a foothold on the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
At the weekend, Lawan and Ndume met with the PDP caucus at the residence of the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, but they could not go away with a “deal” that may shape the race tomorrow. It was gathered that at the end of the meetings held on Saturday night, there was no commitment, on the part of PDP, as to who to back yet between Lawan and Ndume.
A PDP senator-elect, who does not want his name in print, said: “Yes, it is true we met with Lawan. We also met with Ndume. Ndume was the first person we received. Then, Lawan came in with about 20 senators or so after Ndume had left. But we are yet to take a decision because the party promised to meet with us later today (yesterday). But up till now (Sunday evening), we are yet to receive any invitation from the party.”
Also speaking on what transpired at the Saturday meeting, another Senator-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is one of the major backers of Lawan said: “I believe Senator Lawan handled his presentation in a mature and robust way without making any outrageous commitments. Quite a handful had privately made pledges to support his cause.”