Senate Screening: Presidency backs Senate's Procedure on Amaechi

THE Presidency  said on Monday, that it was in support of the decision of senators to screen the former governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, last week Thursday, without debating the report of the petition against him by the Ethics and Privileges Committee.
The Presidency, which spoke through the Senior Special  Assistant on National  Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said the Senate had the prerogative of amending its own procedures.
Enang faulted the protests against the procedure, saying the Senate was backed by the law to regulate its procedure at any given time.
The presidential aide, who spoke to newsmen in the National Assembly, on Monday, said the power to regulate its procedure was granted the Senate.
He said: “It is  within their constitutional right to regulate their own proceedings.
  “The constitution authorises the Senate, the House of Representatives and every legislative House to regulate its own procedures,  including managing matters that were brought before them. Therefore, what the Senate did was domestic to the Senate and I am not in a position to speak about it, but they are within their constitutional right.
The Senate  had, last Thursday, screened Amaechi immediately after the chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, submitted the report of his committee  which probed a petition assigned to the committee by the Senate.
The screening was said to be against Senate procedure, leading the senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ignore raising questions for the nominee.
Senate’s Minority Leader, Godswill  Akpabio, raised a Point of Order, citing Order 43 before the screening commenced.
He said:  “I want to point out that the PDP senators and the caucus do not have any questions for the nominee. We have just received the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions against the nominee about cases of fraud and indictment. Until that is discussed, we will not be part of the screening. Is that the position of PDP caucus members?” The PDP senators all chorused “yes.”
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