Confusion In The Senate As Saraki Swears In Two Senators From The Same District

The Senate has been hit with credibility crisis over the swearing in of two different persons to represent a single senatorial district.

The two persons, Mustapha Sani Mohammed and Gen. (rtd) Mohammed A. Garba who are both claiming to have won the election under the All Progressives Congress have been sworn in to represent Niger south senatorial district, Daily Trust reports.

It was gathered that Garba was sworn in at the inauguration of the 8th Senate on June 9 while Mustapha was sworn in  last week Wednesday, August 12,2015, by the Senate president, Bukola Saraki for the same position.

According to sources, the Senate president decision was said to have been influenced by his associates to swear in Mustapha for the position even when Garba is yet to constitutionally vacant the seat.

However, Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, special adviser on legal and constitutional matter, said the confusion arises from  lack of information from the judiciary.

The two contenders are currently at the appeals court over the issue.

It was gathered that the problem started during nomination from the senatorial district. Mustapha was the first to be nominated but when his membership of APC was challenged, his name was reportedly substituted with that of Garba who  went on to win the general election.

However, Mustapha has gone to court to challenged Garba’s claim to the seat saying that he was the legally elected senator as he was the original nominee of the party.

The case was still in court when Mustapha was sworn in before the court could take decision on the dispute.

Senate president legal aide said that Saraki was not aware that someone from the same senatorial district was earlier sowrn in but promised that investigation would be carried out.

Before Mustapha was sworn in, we wrote to the Supreme and appeals courts, asking whether there was application on the senatorial district. The Supreme Court replied (to) our letter on the 7th August, the following day after we wrote to them.

“The Supreme Court said there was no any pending application, but the appeals court did not reply (to) our letter until on 12th of this month, just hours after Mustapha has been sworn in.

“It was the appeals court that told us that there was a pending application on the seat. We acted because we thought nothing was pending,” El-Sudi said.

Meanwhile, former Senate leader is leading others  to decamp from Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress in Cross Rivers state.