The planned resumption of the Senate on Tuesday has been cancelled.
Instead, the Upper Legislative House has headed to the Supreme Court seeking interpretation on whether President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Nkannu Onnoghen or whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Senate as provided for in Section 292 of the constitution.
A statement from the Senate signed by the spokesman to the President of the Senate, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said following the filing of the case, the matter of the suspension of the CJN which was the main issue for which the Senate had planned to reconvene Tuesday had become subjudice.
“Therefore, in line with the standing rules of the Senate not to debate issues that are already pending before the court, the reconvening of the Senate tomorrow (Tuesday) has been put off. The previous adjournment of the Senate till February 19, 2019 stays,” the statement added.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had planned to meet all its Senators and senatorial candidates Monday night at a dinner in the Aso Villa, in what many had thought was intended to rein in party members behind the President’s decision to suspend Onnoghen and replace him with Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Political analysts suspect that the Senate opting for judicial interpretation instead of a sitting over Onnoghen may be a strategy to pull the rug off the feet of the officials of the APC to hijack the sitting.