NORTH CENTRAL APC LEADERS PICK HOLES IN SARAKI’S TRIAL BY CCT
The on-going trial of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, is more political than judicial and it must be stopped in the best interest of the ruling party, the APC, to avoid the polity being unnecessarily over-heated.
Some APC elders who spoke under the umbrella of Leaders of Thought in the North Central at an interactive session with journalists in Ilorin appealed to stakeholders in the party to urge those up in arms against the Senate President to sheath swords and allow peace to reign in the party.
The group of elders called for the immediate end to the case before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), stating that they reject in its entirety the CCT’s ruling of March 24th, 2016.
Senator Ahmed Mohammed who spoke on behalf of the elders called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to be indifferent to the alleged injustice and the abuse of legal system in the country by the CCT Chairman, Justice Umar Danladi. The recent pronouncement by eminent jurists on the illegality of the CCT and that it lacks the power to prosecute Saraki was according to them enough to prompt presidential action on the perceived impunity of Justice Danladi. ‘On our part, we make bold to say that we would reject what ever is the outcome of this illegal and Kangaroo trial under Umar Danladi who himself is alleged to have criminal charges hanging on his neck while the Tribunal has also been declared incompetent by an eminent legal luminary. Therefore we call for the immediate end of the trial before the CCT, but should this injustice and political persecution continue then Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu must be re-arraigned immediately. We have refrained from speaking about the trial of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT because of our belief that it was an issue that would not stand the test of truth, equity and justice. But it has become significant to raise our voice at this juncture, not only for posterity, but because of the pronouncement of Justice Danladi Umar which made it too clear that double standard reigns supreme there’, he claimed.
Taking the APC stakeholders down memory lane, the elders reminded them that it was through tacit support of Senator Saraki and other leaders that the dream of defeating a sitting president at the polls was achieved and it would be politically unwise to willfully destroy a strong home that was patiently built.
‘If fair is fair, Dr. Saraki deserves to be the most commended politician in APC in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria; APC had only the Governor of Nasarawa State before Kwara joined. Today APC is the ruling party in North Central states courtesy of the outstanding role he played with others. There is no other zone that came from one out of six governors to six over six today. APC also has the majority number in National Assembly, state Assemblies and local councils.
Unfortunately, at this moment he is being condemned, persecuted and vilified by the party he helped to build and made to record victory at the polls ,’ he stated.
The elders also gave Saraki a thumbs up for his good leadership role as head of the legislative arm who deserves the support of the people. ‘If we review his leadership at the Senate and chairmanship of the National Assembly in the last nine months, is there anyone who has not seen the high capacity demonstrated by Dr. Bukola Saraki in the conduct of business at the upper house and the coordination of the National Assembly ? For the first time since 1999, the budget was passed the same day in both chambers with similar figures without any need for a joint committee to harmonise their differences. Harmonisation was done from the start. With the senate search light on Treasury Single Account (TSA),
Nigeria is saving over N600m everyday. The war against Boko Haram is being won because the National Assembly approved the funds. He brought succour to Nigerians through the cancellation of fixed PHCN charges from DISCO tariff and saved the nation from labour strike’, he further submitted.
Another group that lent its voice to the elders’ call is the Kwara Youth for Good Governance and it urged the President and the APC leaders not to fail Nigerians as expectations are too high.
The Chairman, Ismail Umar said the task before the government is too enoumous and rather than wasting time on petty in-house rivalry and political persecution, all hands must be on deck to achieve the electoral promises made during the campaigns.
‘It is not open to debate that we are running a democratic government and its potent foundation is the rule of law and if an assault is recorded on the very fabric of the rule of law, it naturally punctures our so-called democratic status. Due process is not negotiable and it must be followed in everything we do; the arraignment of the Senate President featured an important lacuna and there was a precedence so why changing the goal post at the middle of the game? He asked.
Meanwhile, as the trial continues this month, fingers are crossed as people await what the Justice Danladi Umar’s verdict would be.