Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a proclamation for the Ninth National Assembly to commence sitting from Tuesday.
The presidential action was contained in a one-page document, sighted by THISDAY, titled ‘Proclamation for The Holding of The First Session Of The 9th National Assembly,’ bearing the president’s seal, signed on May 30.
Buhari said he was proclaiming the Ninth Assembly in line with section 64(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
The document stated inter alia: “Whereas it is provided in Section 64(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) that the person elected as president shall have power to issue a proclamation for the holding of the first session of the National Assembly immediately after his being sworn-in.
The president stated: “Now, therefore, I, Muhammadu Buhari, President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in exercise of the powers bestowed upon me by Section 64 (3) aforesaid and of all other powers enabling me in that behalf, hereby proclaim that the first session of the Ninth (9th) National Assembly shall hold at 10:00am on Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 in the National Assembly, Abuja.
“Given under my hand and the public seal of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at Abuja, this 30th day of May, 2019.
Controversy, however, appeared to have dogged the authenticity of the proclamation document.
While sources at the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori, confirmed that the document was actually received from the president, the former Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, feigned ignorance of the document. But he promised to get back to THISDAY after clarifying from appropriate quarters.
He was, however, yet to do so as at press time yesterday night.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives members-elect of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties such as Young Peoples Party (YPP), Social Democratic Movement (SDM) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) met yesterday to garner support for the election of Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker of the Ninth House ahead of the inauguration on Tuesday.
The meeting, held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, saw Gbajabiamila canvassing for the support of the main opposition PDP and other legislators-elect to emerge as the next House speaker.
Also, the Caucus meeting of the PDP senators and House members-elect initially scheduled for the evening was rescheduled for Friday evening.
A ranking PDP senator told THISDAY that the meeting was shifted to allow for many of the lawmakers to attend as sizeable number of the fresh legislators had not arrived Abuja.