The Federal Government has debunked claims from some quarters that the current trial of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki is rather a persecution to settle political scores than fight against corruption.
The FG said the trial was prompted by petitions written even by people of Kwara State. It was the petitions that were acted upon that brought about those revelations you are seeing.
Vowing that no stone will be left unturned in the ongoing prosecution of the Senate President, over false assets declaration.
The Federal Government, through the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), had filed a 13-count charge against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja bordering on false declaration of assets.
Though, Saraki had pleaded not guilty to the charge, the case had, after traversing all the hierarchy of courts in the nation, began last Tuesday, as the prosecution presented its first witness. A member of the prosecution team, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that the prosecution will not leave any stone unturned in the prosecution. “There are enough evidences to prove that Saraki is guilty of the charge against him.
I hope you were at the tribunal at the last adjourned date and you witnessed the weight of evidence against him? Those evidences were not manufactured by the prosecution; rather they were discovered from investigations.
“And to also tell you, the investigation was not suo motu conducted by the Federal Government; rather it was prompted by petitions written even by people of Kwara State. It was the petitions that were acted upon that brought about those revelations you are seeing.
And I can still tell you that when further evidences are presented in the course of the trial, every Nigerian will believe that Saraki’s trial is not a witch-hunt as it is being speculated in some quarters, rather it is part of this government’s bid to fight corruption.
“The Federal Government is not fighting any individual, but rather the monster called corruption. My brother, let me leave the rest for the next adjourned date,” he stated. Meanwhile, an impeccable source in the camp of the Senate President told New Telegraph in confidence that with the look of things, the outcome of the trial may not favour the defendant.
He added that though whatever the outcome is, the defendant would still explore his legal rights before the higher courts. However, the source insisted that the trial of Saraki is nothing, but a witch-hunt, which is a result of falling apart with his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) by becoming the Senate President. “We all know the game plan here, we know the battle is not a battle for justice, but that of vendetta,” he added.
If the Senate President is found guilty of the charge, the punishment that is likely to be imposed by the CCT includes any of the following as stated in Section 23(2) (a), (b) and (c) of the CCB & T Act and Section 18 of the 5th Schedule of the Constitution, 1999:
(1) Vacate his office as President of the Senate;
(2) disqualification from membership of the Senate for a period of not more than 10 years; and
(3) seizure and forfeiture of property.
Meanwhile, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), which is made up of civil society groups, has said that the embattled Senate President is being haunted by consequences of his unbridled corruption.
TMG, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, said it is time for Saraki to go despite his diversionary antics. It noted that the verdict of Nigerians with regards to the facts coming out in his case at Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is for him to go.
The statement, signed by TMG Chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, insisted that Saraki must resign as Senate President. “All his diversionary antics notwithstanding, TMG insists it is time for Saraki to go.
That is the verdict of the Nigerian people; in due course, the voices of the people will prevail,” TMG said. According to the statement, “Like a drowning man, Saraki is advertising his willingness to hold on to any straw.
Since TMG released its widely circulated statement calling on him to immediately step down on account of damaging effects of his trial on the Senate as an institution, Saraki has cut a pathetic figure.
“His vile calculations that the Nigerian people would soon forget about the revelations, and move on, have boomeranged. Saraki and his spindoctors are now running from pillar to post in a desperate last-ditch effort to silence courageous voices.
“The result of this pathetic approach to clear questions of accountability is a streak of hallucination that has led Saraki and his fellows to create imaginary enemies in order to conflate issues and deflect responsibility.
“…Saraki should make no mistake about it; he is the man in the dock, having to face up to the consequences of his actions. “Saraki is the one who has to cope with insomnia in this futile battle to erase the truth.
He may bluff and bluster as much as he wants; the Nigerian people have made up their mind that his position is no longer tenable. “There is no mistaking the fact that he has completely lost legitimacy. Like the exposed shell companies he secretly opened in Panama, he is now an empty shell. “