Ripples Nigeria's Exclusive: Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on Monday night held secret talks with Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, acclaimed national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at his Ikoyi residence in Lagos.
The talks took place soon after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu were dragged before an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Yusuf Halilu, to answer charges of forgery and conspiracy preferred against them.
Both were granted bail, having met conditions set by the court.
Saraki is also standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal where he is being charged with false declaration of assets running into several billions of Naira.
Inside sources told Ripples Nigeria that Senator Akpabio, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) arrived Chief Tinubu’s Bourdillon home very late in the night without the usual police details and protocols attached to his office.
Talks between the duo lasted for about two hours and Akpabio left a little after mid-night, our source added.
Though no details of the discussions were made public, there are strong speculations that the visit may not be unconnected with attempts to find a political solution to the crisis in the National Assembly that is threatening to consume the Saraki/Ekweremadu leadership.
On Monday, the Senate President, soon after he was granted bail by the Abuja High Court, took a swipe at President Buhari, accusing him of losing grip of government to unnamed cabals within his administration.
“… what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.
“This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve,” a statement issued by him said.
In a swift reaction, the Presidency countered via a statement authored by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the president, who said, “…as it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything.
“The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state. It is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not. Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed. But we leave the courts to judge.”
According to him, “It is not in the character of our President”, to make himself a stooge of anyone.
Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu is seen as the major political force that could swing a political solution to the National Assembly impasse, having been instrumental in influencing the overthrow of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the emergence of APC as a ruling party.
He had also tacitly supported the emergence of a different set of leaders for both houses of the National Assembly.