By Ben Agande & Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJAâ€”Following the public outcry that greeted the failure of the Senate to swear-in Mr Alphonsus Igbeke despite the ruling by the Court of Appeal in Enugu, the Senate yesterday bowed to public demands as it said Igbeke would be sworn-in next Tuesday.
Igbeke who would have been sworn-in yesterday, however, missed the opportunity as he did not get to the senate on time.
Explaining the volte face by the Senate, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and Media, Senator Ayogu Eze said the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice advised the Senate that Igbeke should be sworn-in because there is no outstanding order compelling the Senate not to do so.
He explained: â€œI remember that yesterday we were here and I briefed you on the issue of Anambra North Senatorial district and I remember I told you that the Senate is a very law abiding institution and that we will follow the best part of the interpretation of the law.
Senate action based on AGF’s advice
â€œFollowing your inquiries, we have to seek further interpretation from the chief law officer of the federation, the Attorney General of the Federation and he indeed advise us that based on the situation of the matter on ground, that unless there is a stay of execution, a notice is not enough to restrain the Senate from swearing-in Mr. Igbeke.
â€œHe was invited today accordingly based on the advice we got but unfortunately he could not make it to the chamber before we pass the oath section. We are not sitting tomorrow because of the number of activities of the Senate.
Igbeke,A large delegation is going to Katsina tomorrow to condole with the Yarâ€™Adua family and another large number of our members are participating in the ECOWAS parliament and there are other committee activities. The Senate will not sit tomorrow and we hope that all things being equal, he will be sworn- in on Tuesday.
â€œI want to use this opportunity to let you know that the Senate is a law abiding institution and based on the persistent views of Nigerians, we had to seek further clarification from the Attorney General of the Federation and if the chief law officer speaks to us about a matter, we have every reason to believe he is well guided in his advice,â€ he said.