After wide consultation and series of meetings, the Senate, yesterday, resolved to fully throw its weight behind the embattled president of the Upper Legislative Chamber, Bukola Saraki, following his failed attempt to thwart his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) by the Supreme Court.
The Senate, in the coming days, may launch a full-scale war against the Presidency and certain elements of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who they persistently accuse of masterminding the travails of Saraki.
In a press statement, made available to Senate correspondents in Abuja yesterday, spokesman of the Red Chamber, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, said lawmakers were solidly behind Saraki. He lampooned some Senators who have been calling for the resignation of the Senate President.
In the statement, Senator Sabi claimed that he was speaking on behalf of the Senate.
“Following a meeting held in Abuja on Sunday by some Senators and the wide consultations with our colleagues in which we reviewed last Friday’s decision of the Supreme Court in the appeal on the preliminary matters filed by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on the charges filed against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), we hereby resolve as follows.
“That from the beginning of the trial last September, we have declared that this case is not about any fight against corruption. It is simply a case of political vendetta. Our position remains the same. We still believe that the case is politically motivated.
“We also noted that the decision of the Supreme Court given last Friday was on preliminary matters arising from the commencement of the trial. The trial proper is yet to begin. And since the fundamental principle in our legal system is that a defendant is deemed innocent until proven guilty, we have decided to patiently observe the proceedings until the case runs its full circle in the nation’s final judicial forum.”
Criticizing the call for Senate President’s resignation, Sabi said:
“It is on this ground that we want to state categorically that there is no basis for the call on the Senate President to resign until after the matter is decided in that final judicial forum. Such a call at this time is premature, mischievous and unwarranted.
“We therefore reiterate our support for Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the President of the Senate. We stand by him as he goes through the trial at the CCT where we believe he will be able to prove his innocence.
“We also call on members of the public to ignore the rantings of a few Senators who having failed to get the wish of their sponsors done on the floor of the Senate are now launching media campaign against the leadership of the Senate.
“We want members of the public to know that the Senate under Dr. Saraki has achieved stability in the legislative institution and we do not need any negative distraction at this point.
“The focus of the Senate is on the objective consideration and timely passage of the 2016 budget and we will want all Nigerians to support us as we concentrate on this important assignment. We also want to say that we will not make any further statement on this case until the matter has been decided in the final judicial forum.”