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APC, PDP lay claims to majority in Senate

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The aftermath of Tuesday’sdefections of 15 Senators might be spewing crisis in the Senate as Senators ofthe All Progressives Congress (APC) Tuesday afternoon insisted that theyremained the majority despite defections that hit their fold.Addressing Senate Press corpsafter an hour closed door meeting, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan who was flankedby APC lawmakers in the upper chamber boasted that they were still in controlof the red Chamber, saying that their numbers currently stands at 52.Those who defected to the APC atvarious times in the past that made up the number of APC are Senator SunnyOgbuji (Ebonyi South) Senator Hope Uzodinma Imo West), Senator Fatima RajiRasaki (Ekiti West) , Senator Ovie-Omo-agege (Delta Central).Buttressing their stand, AhmedLawan, before presenting a list of APC Senators to journalists, said, SenatorBuruji Kashamu (PDP) representing Ogun East Senatorial District has beenexpelled from the party, hence, cannot be said to be a bonafide member of theparty anymore.This is contrary to the positionof Senator Joshua Dariye (APC) representing Plateau South Senatorial districtwho was convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for fraud and moneylaundering.Asked why Dariye was reflected asa member despite his conviction. He said: “He is on appeal and he cannot beremoved yet.”Though Saraki’s name was not onthe APC list handed over to journalists, APC Senators believed that he wasstill a member.The position of APC Senators wasat variance with that of PDP who earlier in the day claimed majority in theSenate.Senate Minority Leader, GodswillAkpabio in an interview with correspondents at DSP’s residence told journaliststhat PDP has assumed majority status in the Senate, adding that more Senatorswould defect in a matter of days.We further learnt thatGodswill Akpabio, who was the governor of Akwa Ibom State for eight years hasbegan lobby to replace Senator Ahmed Lawan as Senate leader.He was seen having a closed doormeeting with DSP, Ike Ekweremadu when other Senators who were on solidarityvisit left. Effort by our correspondent to have details of Akpabio’sdiscussion with DSP proved abortive on Tuesday, but .s close to DSPconfirmed on Wednesday that the making of Akpabio as the next Senate leader wasbeing perfected.“I can confirm to you thatGodswill Akpabio will be the next Senate leader. The issue was discussed withDSP who is the highest office holder on the platform of PDP,” .s said.However, Ahmed Lawan claimed thatthe Senate President, whose name was not on the roll call was still a member ofthe ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).Suspicion was rife that theSenate President would defect to PDP following his travails believed to beorchestrated by the Presidency when Senate resumes sitting in September. Sarakinarrowly escaped being caged by security operatives on Tuesday over planneddefections. His Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu was, however, kept under house arrest byoperatives on allegations of money laundering.

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