Saraki summons emergency meeting of NASS leaders

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The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has convened an emergency meeting of the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Issues expected on the agenda of the meeting include the string of defections in the political space, rumoured plan to impeach the Senate President and the pending 2019 elections supplementary budget, among others.

The leadership, our sources said, might consider the possibility of reconvening the National Assembly to discuss urgent and important national issues pending before the lawmakers.

Those to attend

The meeting will have in attendance, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Yusuf Suleiman Lasun; Majority Leaders of both chambers, Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Chief and Deputy Whips of both chambers.

Also billed to attend the meeting are the Minority and Deputy Minority Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives; the Minority and Deputy Minority Whips of both chambers.

Also to attend the meeting outside the leadership of the National Assembly are the Chairmen, Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North), and  Aisha Dukku (Dukku/ Nafada, Gombe) respectively.

The meeting, it was gathered, is slated for noon today.

The Agenda

According to the source, top on the agenda for discourse is the letter from President Buhari on the urgent need to approve money for the conduct of the 2019 election, with a proposal of the sum of N164 billion to be provided for through virement or supplementary budget.

The source said they will also look into the not less than N242 billion required for the conduct of 2019 general elections.

Recall that there had been calls, especially from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that the National Assembly should reconvene from its annual recess, having adjourned two weeks ago to reconvene on September 25.

According to the source, after the meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly, they will then meet with the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and other officials at 1pm today.

Preparing for the meeting, Senate President Saraki was in the office yesterday for close to one hour.

It would be recalled that one month after the 2018 budget was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate on July 17, read a letter from the President asking the National Assembly to remove a total of N228 billion as reinstatement from the inserted N578 billion in the 2018 budget to fund critical projects.

In the letter read at plenary by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, President Buhari told the senators that not less than N242 billion would be required for the conduct of 2019 general and Presidential elections and asked for the lawmakers’ approval of the money.


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