There was crisis in the Senate on Wednesday as members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) caucus stormed out of the chamber during the plenary after a Senator representing Ondo South, Sentor Yele Omogunwa, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC). National Daily reports
The PDP Senators stormed out of plenary shortly after the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, read the letter written by the lawmaker Senator Omogunwa to formally declare his defection to the APC.
The Minority Leader of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who is the leader of the PDP caucus, had urged Saraki to declare Ondo South’s seat vacant, since there was no division in the PDP to justify the defection.
Saraki however ruled Akpabio out of order, a development that threw the plenary into rowdiness.
The Minority Leader thereafter led other members of the PDP caucus put of the chamber in protest.
National Daily’s perusal of the Senate rule book asserts that one of the conditions applicable for defection by a lawmaker is if there is a national factional divisions in his party.
PDP has two national factions one headed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and the other led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
With the turn of event today at the Senate Chamber more PDP lawmakers desirous of cross carpeting have the backing of the Senate leadership to do so.
National Daily learnt that the development may rock the cordial relationship between the Senate President Dr Saraki and the Deputy Senate President Mr Ekweremadu who is of the PDP.
Sources privy to the Senator Omogunwa defection explained to National Daily that the Senate PDP caucus members were caught napping as they were confident that the Senate President will respect the gentleman agreement reached with the PDP that saw to the emergence of Dr Saraki as the Senate President, they assumed that the unwritten agreement will be a factor in declaring Senator Omogunwa’s Ondo South Senatorial District seat vacant.
“Now that the Senate President has followed the rule book the PDP caucus has decided to engage Dr Saraki according to the rule book” the source explained to National Daily.
The leadership of PDP is considering legal action to ensure that the Ondo South Senatorial District seat is declared vacant.
National Daily learnt that the party will take this line of action to quickly stem the tide of looming defection by legislators elected on the platform of the party.
What remains to be seen is which faction of the party will take the legal initiative.