Details of how Senate President Bukola Saraki, fearing that he might be impeached by senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC), plotted the blockade of the National Assembly on Tuesday by officials of the Department of State Services have been released by the presidency.
Lauretta Onochie, Special Assistant to the President on New Media, posted on facebook that the blockade of the National Assembly was masterminded by Saraki who, in the aftermath of his defection to the PDP, feared that he might be impeached by the APC senators who are in the majority in the senate.
Saraki was said to have called his longtime friend in the presidency, Lawal Daura, the sacked boss of the DSS, to send some of his men to the National Assembly to prevent APC legislators from removing him.
At the same time, he sent a text to PDP senators to arrive the complex by 7am on Tuesday to thwart the purported plan by the APC senators to impeach him.
Meanwhile, there was no such plan by the APC senators as none of them showed at the National Assembly complex on the day. Only PDP senators mobilised by Saraki were present at the complex.
Thinking that the lawmakers present were the ones planning to impeach Saraki, the DSS personnel prevented them from going in.
Meanwhile, some senators and aides of Saraki with cameras were allowed into the complex to post pictures and broadcasts of DSS personnel preventing lawmakers from entering the National Assembly.
Read more of Onochie’s posting below:
Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), on Tuesday, gave orders for the immediate sack of the Director General of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), Mr. Lawal Daura following the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the DSS.
But contrary to the wildly held belief that the sack of Daura was solely over the blockade of NASS yesterday, there is more to it.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had called for a Tuesday meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly to discuss the request by the executive for the approval of virement for the conduct of the 2019 general elections and consideration of the 2018 Supplementary Bill.
With the defection of Senate President Bukola Saraki from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the call for his resignation and call by the presidency that the National Assembly be reconvened created suspicions all over the air.
The suspicion was that, APC senators will use the opportunity of the meeting called by Senator Saraki to reconvene the Senate and carry out the immediate impeachment of the Senate President. This suspicion is without consideration to the fact that the APC now has a simple majority.
Saraki, not sure how events of that day will plan out, plotted to be a step ahead of whatever plans the APC senators might be putting together and so reportedly enlisted the help of HIS FRIEND at the DSS, Lawal Daura
The fear was that with the possible reconvening of the Senate, APC senators will find their way to the National Assembly and carry out the rumoured impeachment plot of the Senate President.
So, PDP senators were quickly alerted and asked to report to the National Assembly as early as possible on Tuesday so as to be able to check mate whatever the APC senators may have planned for the day.
While the PDP Senators will be there on one hand, DSS agents will also be drafted to ensure that nobody gained access to the National Assembly complex so that the chance to reconvene does not even occur.
To do this, the sacked DSS DG, Lawal Daura sources said, provided 40 DSS operatives to carry out the blockade at the National Assembly.
The order was not to allow any legislator, whether APC or PDP access into the National Assembly, but the real target was APC senators.
Incidentally, no APC senators showed up at the National Assembly since they were on recess and the meeting called by the Senate President was that of the leadership, scheduled for 12 noon while the text for the drama invited PDP lawmakers and the media said 7am.
Consequently, PDP senators started arriving the National Assembly as early as 7am as directed and they met the resistance of the DSS who had orders not to let anyone in.
Suffice it to add that some persons including some aides of the Senate President were also already stationed at the National Assembly in readiness to dish out messages and videos of the blockade that PDP senators were denied access into the complex.
Working according to plan, the DSS prevented PDP senators from gaining access into NASS premises, while the men stationed to video began sending messages across social media platforms reporting the event.
The videos soon got to the mainstream media who also began to report the blockade with some of them using the videos sent my the aide of the Senate President.
With the suspicion that the plot was to impeach the Senate President, Senator Ben Bruce was quick to go on air to say that APC senators were allowed entry into the NASS complex through an alternate gate and are gathering at the chambers. It turned out to be false.
At the same time senator Ben Bruce alleged that APC senators are already in the chamber, aides to the Senate president were spreading messages in the social media that the same APC senators are meeting inside Sheraton Hotels to impeach Saraki.
Many of those who had earlier believed that APC senators were already on the chamber as alleged by Senator Ben Bruce began to doubt the whole thing. But the question that remained on the lips of many was, “What was the DSS doing at the National Assembly preventing lawmakers from gaining access and who sent them on that mission?”
Sources revealed that they were on a mission particularly to prevent what was rumoured and suspected to be plans by APC senators to reconvene and impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki and they were sent by the sacked DG, Lawal Daura, Saraki’s ally.
The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) according to sources was detailed to track Daura’s move especially his telephone conversation with Saraki. The outcome of the NIA findings sources said was quickly communicated to President Buhari, who is on a 10 day working holiday in London, following which approval for the sack of Daura was reached.
While Daura’s sack may have happened nonetheless, the blockade of the National Assembly yesterday resulted in the quick dispensation of his sack. Daura’s sack and reported arrest by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is as a result of the findings on him by the NIA.
Sources said the government is desirous of ensuring that himself and all others involved in the act are punished