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25 May 2016

This Senate is not protecting Saraki — Senator Anyanwu

 By Henry Umoru

Senator Samuel Anyanwu represents Imo East Senatorial District in the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.  Anyanwu is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions.

 In this interview, Senator Anyanwu, who is a loyalist of Senate President Bukola Saraki speaks on the intrigues in the Senate, Saraki’s trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, his Committee among other issues. Excerpts:

It appears that all is not well with the 8th Senate, what are the issues? 
All is well with the 8th Senate. The 8th Senate like you have always known is a coat of many colours, people from different backgrounds, different experiences, coming together, so it is very difficult to examine each other at this first instance, so I am sure as we progress, we will begin to find a common ground and come together as a Senate and remove that which will divide us and embrace that which will unite us.
How realistic is the resolution by the Senate that all those with court cases should withdraw them?
Saraki Unfortunately I wasn’t in that closed door meeting, but having been briefed, I want to give everybody the benefit of doubt that there is sincerity of purpose in what we are doing, but personally I have my own opinion because I believe that from one of the issues canvassed in terms of restructuring the committees will now be an excuse or reason for the Senate to arrive at this. In the eyes of the public, the Senate has been ridiculed especially when we are exposed by social media in bringing out our (phone) numbers. I am saying it is wrong in bringing out our numbers; of course, our representatives have the responsibility to know who will represent them. I stand at the point of truth at all times,  but it is not good to ridicule an institution like the Senate because, after this 8th Senate, there would be other Senates and nobody knows who will occupy this position. That is why sensitivity of the Senate must be protected. Having said that, I also believe that all we see today are all part of the game in the parliament. It happens all over the world, so I don’t see anything serious, no hard feelings as far as I am concerned. For the position I occupy as Chairman of Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions, I have been berated well from unknown forces who are trying to say one thing or the other, but I have always maintained my support for the President of the Senate.
 Another serious case that your committee would have handled alongside Senate committee on judiciary and human rights is that of the amendment of CCT act. But the Senate made a u-turn and decided to forget it. What really happened? 
No, they didn’t say they have decided to forget it; that is not correct. I think that’s because we are a very responsible Senate.  There has been this call that because the Senate President is standing trial that it will look as if we are trying to prevent justice by amending the CCT act, but that isn’t correct.
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