Breaking

Umahi, Geidam yet to resign as senators

cdc david umahi

Forty-six days after their inauguration as ministers by President Bola Tinubu, the Minister of Works, David Umahi, and the Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam, have yet to resign their membership of the Senate, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

Umahi, the former Deputy Senate Leader who represented Ebonyi South, and Geidam who represented Yobe East are part of the 48 ministers in Tinubu’s cabinet who were sworn in on August 21.

The former Ebonyi State governor received his nomination barely a month after he was appointed as a principal officer in the 10th Senate, while Geidam, also a former governor of Yobe State, was serving his second term as a senator.

While responding to why the seats of the two had yet to be declared vacant, the spokesperson of the Senate, Yemi Adaramodu, told our correspondent that the former lawmakers had yet to send in their resignation.

He said it was impossible for the Senate to declare the seats vacant since they had yet to send in their resignation.

“The Senate cannot declare any seat vacant if there is no communication from the former lawmakers about their resignation. There are procedures for these things. It is when they send in their communication that the Senate President will read such communication at the plenary that such seats can now be vacant.

“If there had been any communication from them, I am sure the Senate President would have read it out to Nigerians,” Adaramodu added.

The Senate’s spokesperson, however, noted that the new ministers were probably still trying to settle into their new offices and might not have remembered to send in their resignation letters.

He also said the ministers assumed offices while the National Assembly was on its annual recess and had barely sat for a few days.

He said, “You know we were on break when the ministers were sworn in, so most of them are still settling in. The work ahead of them is also enormous particularly because of the mandate given to them by the President.

“Also, we have also just resumed and we have only sat for a day which was used for screening of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the deputies.”

Since Umahi’s exit from the 10th Senate, it has been without a Deputy Senate Leader.

The Independent National Electoral Commission is expected to conduct bye-elections to fill the senatorial districts once their seats have been declared vacant.

The Senate is also expected to fill the vacant principal officers’ positions.

Last Tuesday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudden Abbas, declared two seats vacant and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to organise bye-elections for the affected federal constituencies.

The declaration followed letters of resignation tendered by the Minister of Interior, Tunji Bunmi-Ojo (APC, Ondo), and the Minister for Education, Tanko Sununu (APC, Kebbi), respectively as members of the 10th House and read by the Speaker.

Earlier, Abbas declared the seat of the Speaker of the 9th House, Femi Gbajabiamila, vacant following his appointment by Tinubu as the Chief of Staff to the President.