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Saraki’s Trial Begins Today

Senators Stand Behind Their President Admonishing The Executive To Focus On Governance As Bukola Saraki Vows Not To Be Distracted By The Code Of Conduct Bureau’s Charge Against Him

As embattled Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, appears before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja today (Friday) to face trial over alleged falsification of assets declaration, some senators have not only openly thrown their weights behind their embattled leader, but also called on the Federal Government to focus more on governance rather than politically motivated trials of perceived enemies.

Meanwhile, the Senate President has vowed that the 8th Senate under his leadership would not lose focus by any form of distractive allegations. The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) had on the strength of a 13-count charge bordering on alleged falsification of assets declaration and under declaration raised against Saraki by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) summoned the Senate President to appear before it for trial.

Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) summoned the Senate President to appear before it for trial. But in separate reactions yesterday to Saraki’s trial, however, senators across party lines condemned the move by the CCB, and described it as distractive and uncalled for.

They vowed that trial or no trial, majority of the senators in the Senate would continue to support Saraki’s leadership of the Senate. Reacting to the matter, Senator Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi from Niger State expressed confidence that all the allegations raised against Saraki by CCB would not in any way derail the 8th Senate from its focus of bringing about the much needed change in the positive sense to Nigerians across the various sectors.

“I want to believe an allegation remains an allegation; and our laws are very clear. It is an allegation until it is proven; I want to believe it remains an allegation. However, let’s take a closer look at what the allegations are, dating back to 2003 to date, I think, as far as I am concerned there is something fishy about it.

It is very obvious; of course we know what has happened since the inauguration of the 8th Senate. “And what I want to state here clearly is that we have a duty based on our mandate by the electorate to come here, a number of processes were done, and I want to believe that, unless if somebody is trying to tell that all those processes were carried out by various security agencies were not correct, I want to believe, if they were correct, then somebody needs to ask the question:how come 12 years down the line somebody is feeling that there is something he has forgotten in those years and he wants to find out an answer for them now?

“But I think that what the 8th Senate is looking at clearly are the issue of youth unemployment; the insurgency for which we know that based on the support of the National Assembly, we are all living witnesses to the thorough and expeditious work done to confirm the Service Chiefs, and our resolve through our legislative agenda to support our party in this particular dispensation.

I want to believe that we will not be distracted from that, and whatever it is that anybody is doing, our laws are very clear. We have a responsibility, and on the basis of that we will try to do what Nigerians expect of us. “We are also aware that the Ad hoc Committee on Power has been working. I am sure all of us here, after all these days work, I don’t know how many of you will go back home and meet light in your houses.

So, these are very serious issues that Nigerians expect that we pay our attention to; and I want to assure you that the 8th Senate will not be distracted in any way. “We will stand by our leaders because leadership is from God and as far as I am concerned, I didn’t come here be- cause I am the best; it is just the will of God that we will be here. And based on the fact that we are here, we shall try as much as possible to deliver very good legislation that will move this country forward.

Nigeria is great, and we want to make it greater. And I assure you, we will definitely not be distracted. The en- tire Senate is behind our leadership,” he said. Also condemning the trial was Senator Hussain Salihu from Nasarawa State, who maintained that those trying Saraki for one thing or the other that had happened in the past because he is now the Senate President would get tired of the trial.

According to him, senators and, by extension, the Senate will not abandon Saraki as their duly elected leader. “The charges against Saraki as far as I am concerned are just distractive, in the sense that we are talking about issue of 13 years ago and people are bringing it now. I think Nigerians should disregard such issues because they are distracting the National Assembly from doing its own constitutional work.

And I don’t think that it is going to help us. “What we are talking about now is how we are going to get power supply; how the ordinary man can send his children to school and the sick to get hospitals that will treat them. So, the allegations are non-issues.

I think the people who are doing this are not helping the country; they are not helping the President and they are not helping anybody because as far as the National Assembly is concerned, we are going to move on from all these distractions.

“As you can see, for those of us that are around we are doing our work and the place is energized to take off for effective legislative activities when we resume. So, I don’t see how these things are going to affect us. They will do it and get tired.

What happened 13 years down the line, why have they not brought it until now? So, we feel that those who are doing this are not helping the nation at all,” he said. For Senator Mao Ohuabunwa from Abia State the majority of the senators believe that Saraki has led the Senate creditably well in the last 100 days.

He added that most of the senators will continue to give Saraki their total support, irrespective of any distractions from any quarters.

Meanwhile, the embattled Senate President has vowed that the Senate under his leadership can never be shaken by any form of distractive allegations. Saraki stated this when he played host to a delegation of Ilorin Emirate De- scendant Progressive Union (IEDPU), who paid him a solidarity visit.

“The 8th Senate, at inception on the 9th of June this year, had clearly stated that it was out to bring about positive change to Nigerians through responsive legislation and oversights, which cannot in anyway be distracted from,” he said.

Earlier at the visit, the IEDPU Chairman, Alhaji Abdulhameed Hadi, who pledged the total support of Ilorin people for Saraki, urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to extend his hand of fellowship in governance to the Senate President, as he did with the late General Tunde Idiagbon when they both ruled Nigeria in the early 1980s as military men.


-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja


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