•Embattled lawmakers relocate to state capitals
Fred Itua, Abuja
Hit by cash crunch, some serving senators slugging it out with their opponents at eelection petition tribunals, are sourcing for commercial bank loans to help prosecute their cases.
Daily Sun learnt that aside sourcing bank loans, the embattled senators are also seeking financial assistance from colleagues to prosecute the next phase of their legal battle.
A senator who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence, said lawmakers had spent a substantial part of their monies on their election and that the majority were yet to recover or recoup the monies.
He said those in dire need of funds were senators sacked by the tribunal or those whose victories at the lower courts are challenged at the Court of Appeal by opponents.
According to the source, some senators sold off their property and got loans from commercial banks at outrageous interest rates to fund their election. He said these senators were complaining that they were unable to repay such loans as activities at the National Assembly have not picked up.
“Some lawmakers are already regretting their decision to come to the National Assembly. Millions are spent on lawyers and other legal costs to have a qualitative representation at the Tribunal.
“Senators who took their oaths of office on the 11th of June are yet to be engaged in any serious legislative business beside the controversial ministerial screening exercise conducted before their annual break.
Committees are still idle, while oversight function which is a major component of legislative business is yet to kick off in the upper legislative chamber. and beside the cash crunch, there is also palpable fear within the four walls of the National Assembly, following recent Election Tribunal judgements which annulled elections of some senators.”
In the coming days, National and State Assembly Election Tribunals are expected to give more judgments on cases filed by those who lost out in the February 23, Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Daily Sun gathered that some of the lawmakers whose cases are yet to be decided by the tribunals, have relocated to their respective states.
It was also gathered that senators who recently traveled abroad for their summer vacation, have cut short their trips to monitor developments in their respective states, as more judgments are trickling in.
Some of the senators, it was learnt, have already put their legal teams on notice to immediately prepare to file appeals in the event that judgments do not go in their favour.
Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Dino Melaye and one of the longest serving senators, James Manager, are expected to have rerun in some polling based on recent judgments, if their appeals fail.
Kalu in his reaction urged Abians not to lose sleep assuring that his mandate would be reclaimed at the Court of Appeal.
Spokesman of the Senate, Adedayo Adeyeye has been outrightly sacked by the Election Tribunal.
But he has opportunity to take his case to the Appeal Court.