Senate describes Saraki, Ekweremadu’s trial as distraction

Senate describes Saraki, Ekweremadu’s trial as  distraction
October 08 06:24 2016

The Senate has described the forgery case against Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, as a mere distraction.

It said the withdrawal of the case against them by the Federal Government had vindicated its earlier stand that the case lacked substance.

The Federal Government had arraigned Saraki, Ekweremadu, and two other officials of the National Assembly for alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rules which brought them to power in June 2015.

However, the Federal Government withdrew the charges preferred against them on Friday.

According to a statement by its Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate said the decision to withdraw the case and its subsequent dismissal, as well as the discharge of the defendants, had confirmed its earlier position that the case was an abuse of court process.

“We have always said that that case was politically motivated. The executive cannot decide for the legislature the genuineness or otherwise of the Senate Standing Rules.

“However, where there is a crack in the wall, it is easy for others to capitalise on our differences. Now that senators have closed their ranks, the executive is only taking the right cue. We are happy with this development.

“We believe it is a sign of good things to come. It is a victory for democracy; a victory for separation of powers, checks and balances and constitutionalism. We commend the judiciary for its continuous dedication and commitment to the rule of law in our democracy.

“We restate our confidence in the ability of the judiciary to adjudicate and dispense justice in all matters in the polity which, no doubt, greatly contributes to national productivity. Our commendation also goes to the Federal Ministry of Justice for being courageous enough to do the right thing,” the statement read in part.

Abdullahi also called on the executive to withdraw other cases with political intent.

Saraki is still standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over allegations of anticipatory declaration of assets while he was Kwara state governor.

“There is an emergency in the country. The economy is in crisis. This has resulted in escalating and excruciating poverty among our people. Social problems are on the rise. There are conflicts across the country. National values are being eroded. Crucial infrastructure and social services are collapsing. These are the things that should pre-occupy our minds, especially now that our economy is in recession.

“The international community will take us more seriously when they see that everybody in the national leadership is speaking along the same line to solve the economic problem, encourage productivity, create employment, promote discipline and work to make our country great,” the statement said.