My Hands Are Tied Over Senators Defection, Says David Mark


Credit: Newsday
Credit: Newsday

Senate President David Mark on Wednesday refused to formalise the defection of the 11 aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party senators to the All Progressive Congress, on the floor of the upper chamber.

Our correspondent also learnt that the third meeting he scheduled with the aggrieved legislators in his residence on Tuesday night, ended inconclusively.

The senate for the second time in two days held its plenary on Wednesday behind closed-door because of the anticipated tension that an open debate on the defection could generate.

The two-hour stormy session ended without any of the aggrieved senators talking to journalists

Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who addressed journalists after the plenary, confirmed that Mark would require further legal advice before he could act on the letter of defection written by the aggrieved senators.

He explained that the senate president maintained there were serious legal and constitutional issues surrounding the defection moves which would need the intervention of legal experts.

Abaribe said, “I can confirm to you that on the matter of those who want to defect that the issue was also discussed during the closed session and it was also resolved that the senate, the senate president in particular, would have to seek further legal advice.

“There were serious legal issues that were thrown up during the discussion and the legal issues relate to both the interpretation of the Constitution and the interpretation of our rules within the senate.”

The senate spokesman said more time was given for further consultation.

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