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Constitution Requires 73 Senators to remove Saraki – Ozekhome

The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has insistently demand Senate President Bukola Saraki resign or be impeached following his defection from the party to the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

The Senate leadership tussle which has consistently headlines the media space as the APC intensifies its intention to impeach the Senate president and his vice, Ike Ekweremadu has drew the attention a respected human rights lawyer, Dr Mike Ozekhome who on Monday noted that the 1999 Constitution requires at least 73 senators to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also advised the APC and presidency to ignore some obstinate legal opinion suggesting that 24 members of the upper chamber could lawfully impeach Saraki as the Senate President.

He gave this warning in a statement he issued yesterday, citing relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution and different judicial precedents to justify the requirement of 73 senators for the impeachment of the principal officers of the National Assembly.

Ozekhome’s position aligns with the legal opinion which another senior lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, gave last week. In his legal opinion, Falana noted that the APC “cannot remove Saraki without the two-third majority of the entire lawmakers in the upper chamber.

In a statement on Monday, Ozekhome explained the process and technicality of impeaching the Senate president or Speaker of the House of Representatives beyond provision enshrined in section 50(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

The senior lawyer first cited sections 143 and 188 of the 1999 Constitution, which according to him, deal with the impeachment of the president, vice president, governor and deputy governor respectively.

He noted that the sections “are different from section 50(2), which deals with the impeachment of the president or deputy president of the Senate, or the Speaker or deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

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