The controversial extradition of ONLF senior leader Qalbi Dhagah will top the Senate agenda Monday, the Senate committees affirmed Sunday a day after the Lower House failed to find a footing on the matter in what emerged to have been last minute divisions among lawmakers.
Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi told Goobjoog News the Qalbi Dhagah case will be the first item on the order paper Monday and that the Senate will issue its verdict on the legality of the extradition which has attracted public debate following the government’s move to hand over the ONLF leader to Ethiopia.
“The agenda of the Senate is the debate of the decision of the government regarding the extradition of Abdikarim Muse (Qalbi Dhagah) to Ethiopia and its decision [linking him to Al-Shabaab and carrying illegal activities in the country]. This is what we want to submit to the House and we shall come up with an outcome whether the decision of the government is right,” said Hashi.
The committee meeting Sunday follows failure by the Lower House to debate the issue Saturday after a quorum hitch. Lawmakers among them ministers who turned up Saturday did not register their names in the House roll in what appeared to be an apparent boycott of proceedings forcing House speaker Osman Jawaari to issue a stern warning to the lawmakers.
Goobjoog News has learnt that Senators have vowed to unanimously turn out for Monday’s session to debate the matter. “We will ensure we have the quorum to debate this issue,” a Senator who did not want to be named said.
None of the Senators is serving as a minister.
The cabinet passed a resolution last week declaring Qalbi Dhagah a terrorist as it sought to defend its position for handing him over to Ethiopia. It linked him to Al-Shabaab, a charge his family and the ONLF has vehemently denied.
Goobjoog News learnt however some of the ministers expressed a dissenting opinion during the discussion but they could not sway the majority vote.
The Lower House will also be sitting tomorrow and will be expected to revisit the issue.