Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said he knows nothing about how the rules adopted in the inauguration of the Eighth Senate on June 9, 2015 was formulated, just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus, on Wednesday said the planned removal of Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu was nothing but an invitation of anarchy.
The Senate President said the ongoing efforts to drag him into a case of forgery before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, was just another phase in the orchestrated persecution he has faced since he emerged as Senate President a little over a year ago. Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he was not a part of the leadership of the 7th Senate that made the rules in question and prior to his unanimous election as Senate President on June 9, 2015, he was merely a Senator-elect like all his colleagues, and therefore was not in a position to influence the rules that were to be used in the conduct of the election.
“The Police in their investigation were conscious that the incumbent Senate President was not in office prior to June 9, 2015 and that was why in their letters inviting some individuals for their investigation, they only mentioned officers of the 7th Senate. The last of the letters was written to the Clerk of the National Assembly on June 7, 2016 and he was not among those invited. “Those who decided to smuggle the name of the Senate President into the charge sheet after the fact knew perfectly well that only the leadership of the 7th Senate were invited for investigation.
But they needed to implicate him in keeping with their declared vow to ensure that even if their current efforts to nail him through the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) fails, they would find other ways to carry out their vendetta. “This so-called forgery case is another wanton abuse of the judicial process and making a mockery of the institution of justice. As the Senate earlier stated, the sponsors of this plot are not only gunning for Saraki, what they have just launched with this latest antics is a grand onslaught on the foremost institution of our democracy.
“The only institutional difference between dictatorship and democracy is the presence of the legislature. Therefore, by seeking to cripple the National Assembly, they have declared a war on our hard-won democracy and aimed for the very jugular of our freedom. “Let us restate the fact that the Senators who initiated the Police investigation in the first place had raised the same matter on the floor and were overwhelmingly overruled. They also filed a civil suit and were told by the court that neither the judiciary nor the executive can interfere in the internal affairs of the legislative arm.
“The Senate President recognizes the sundry problems bedeviling our nation today – food insecurity, devaluation of the Naira, inflation, unemployment, failing national infrastructure, insurgency in the North-eastern part of the country, restiveness in the oil producing areas, and general insecurity, among others – and believes that finding solutions to them should be the priority, at this period, for every individual in government, not the pursuit of narrow political objectives.
“That is why these needless distractions will do nobody any good. In fact, it will not help in delivering on the promise of bringing positive change to the lives of our people who voted for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last elections. “The Senate President does not see what value this current attempt to shut down the Senate by dragging its presiding officers before a court for a phantom allegation of forgery will add to the attempts to solve the problems confronting the nation. “Saraki will however explore all legal options necessary to ward off this fresh case of persecution and distraction”, the statement added.
PDP Senators warn On their part the PDP Senate Caucus on Wednesday announced withdrawal of support for the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari over the plot to remove Saraki and Ekweremadu, and condemned that the planned removal as a glaring witch-hunt of perceived members of the opposition. The caucus alleged that the government of President Buhari has been deploying State instruments of coercion to intimidate the Senate as an independent arm of government, a development it said may degenerate into anarchy. Addressing the Senate Correspondents, on behalf of the PDP caucus, the Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanual Buwcha said members condemn the plot to remove Saraki and Ekweremadu in its entirety.
Present during the briefing were, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Phillip Aduda, Senator Biodun Olujimi and others. Bwatcha said the Caucus had met the previous day to review the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government and hence resolved to withdraw support for the government of President Buhari until it stops its act of intimidation towards PDP members in general. It urged the APC government to concentrate attention on maintaining security in Nigeria rather than pursuing members of the opposition, using the court as a tool for witch-hunt.