The House of Representatives has set conditions for President Goodluck Jonathan which, if met by The Presidency, could make the lawmaking body back down on the impeachment threat it issued against the president should he fail to implement the 2012 budget as passed by the National Assembly.
Senate president David Mark is reported to be a key mediator between the House and The Presidency and is said to be keen to ward off the impeachment as a way of proving he had no personal interest in or hope of benefitting from the moves being made by the lower chamber.
While The presidency is reportedly reaching out to key leaders of the House, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY reliably learnt that members of the House still feel slighted by the recall of the director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, just when it was recommending her sack.
Other than that, the lawmakers are also said to have had enough of the so many review committees that The presidency is setting up, which are seen as attempts to undermine the resolutions and committee reports of the House.
A source in the House, who does not want to be mentioned in print, also said that the leadership of the House was in shell shock over the appointment of Dr. Doyin Okupe as a special assistant to the president on public affairs, just days after Okupe had spent close to an hour on the Africa Independent Television (AIT) demonising the House.
The source said, the only way that President Jonathan can pacify the lawmakers is to sack Oteh, rethink his appointment of Okupe and implement the budget to a reasonable level before the September deadline set by the House of Representatives.
President Goodluck Jonathan had, last week, demanded a new audit into the leadership of Oteh, which was seen as a preliminary move to finally get rid of her to placate the Hosue.
The secretary to the government of the federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, in a letter recalling Oteh, said: "Please refer to the decision of the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to send you on compulsory leave in order to enable SEC's external auditors - the Price Water Coopers Limited (PWC) - to examine the records of the Commission's transactions covering SEC Project 50 which you supervised.
"I am to note that Government has studied the report submitted by the external auditors and you are neither indicted for fraud nor criminal breach in any form. However, some administrative lapses were reported, particularly in cases where administrative procedures were not thoroughly observed."
But the deputy chairman of the House of Representatives committee on media and public affairs, Hon. Victor Ogene, has denied that the lawmakers have made any demands to The Presidency, suggesting that no impeachment threat was made in the very first place. He said it was the media that was coining these phrases to create an impression of an impeachment threat.
He also suggested that the resources providing the information about negotiations should come out in the open.
Ogene said, "The House is an institution that takes its decisions in open plenary sessions or at the leadership level. If such a move is made, it is the spokesman of the House that will make it public. The last session held was shown live on television and no such motion was passed.
"At best, it was one member, a minority, that said the failure to implement the budget by the executive could lead to impeachment. How does this aggregate to a position of the House? If the House sees an infraction, it will not be a threat; it will be an impeachment notice."
On the conditions demanding the removal of Oteh, Ogene said, "It is not true. If there is no impeachment threat, how will there be conditions set in a supposed negotiation?" He also denied suggestions that the House was splitting into two camps - hardliners that want the impeachment of both the president and vice president, and those that are vehemently against such moves." The last I saw the speaker, he was on his way to Sokoto," Ogene said.
"I have said it, the issue of impeachment did not even come up for discussion. As you saw from the last plenary session, the House is united. There are no divisions. The House is one, it will remain one; that I can guarantee.
But a leading member of the House who chairs one of its most critical committees, speaking anonymously to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, said that regardless of what decision the House leadership made on the impeachment threat, it would ultimately divide the lower chamber.
Meanwhile, Speaker Aminu Tambuwa was alleged to have flown out of the country in order to escape the pressure from all sides under the guise of attending the 2012 London Olympics.