The Senate has dismissed agitation by some lawmakers, especially the Ahmed Lawan Senate Unity Forum’s, that Senate President, Bukola Saraki should resign his position as the Senate President following an alleged criminal case that is currently hanging on his ‘neck.’
Following last week’s Supreme Court’s ruling that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki must face trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal,CCT, some anti-Saraki senators, under the umbrella of the Senate Unity Forum, SUF, have called for his resignation as the leader of the Upper Legislative Chamber.
The group while affirming that a person answering criminal charges could not lead the Senate, called for his resignation from the Office of the Senate President so that he could concentrate on his trial at the CCT.
But reacting to the call in a statement issued on Monday by the Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate said that after a meeting in Abuja yesterday (Sunday) by some Senators as well as the wide consultations with their colleagues in which last Friday’s decision of the Supreme Court in the appeal on the preliminary matters filed by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on the charges filed against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), was reviewed, they have resolved that all calls for Saraki’s resignation were done in bad faith and must be disregarded.
The Senators also cautioned against all forms of distraction, noting that the Senate under Saraki had achieved some level of stability. They advised the general public to ignore some few Senators agitating for Saraki’s removal, saying they were only doing the wish of their paymasters.
According to the lawmakers, ”right 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.
” 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.”