Tag Archives: Saraki

You are a double agent, APC chieftain challenges Saraki to declare his stand

APC chieftain tags Saraki ‘double agent’

Senator Saraki

Yekini Nabena, deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has challenged Senate President Bukola Saraki to make his intentions clear on whether he wishes to remain with the party or not.

The APC has been faced with some realignments, with some members hinting on leaving the party.

The reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC ), a faction iwithin the ruling party, had met with the PDP on July 9 to sign a memorandum of understanding on presenting a presidential candidate that will slug it out with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), which Saraki was member of, is also threatening to break away from the APC.

Also, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Saraki’s chief of staff, and some aides of top APC members have dumped the party, but Saraki is yet to make clear his intentions on where he stands.

In a statement sent to TheCable on Sunday, Nabena accused Saraki of being a double agent.

“Saraki must declare now where he belongs, whether he is for APC or other political interests. He cannot serve God and mammon. He cannot play hide-and-seek. He cannot hide behind his fingers,” the statement read.

“In recent times, there have been attempts to discredit the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the federal government it controls by a roguish alliance of forces within and outside the party.

“The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has loomed large in this scheme. Saraki has never hidden his sympathy for those who have launched a vicious attack on the APC, a party that gave both him and the nascent mudslingers the platform on which they ply their political careers.

“The APC is not averse to dissenting positions. But we reject deceit in every shade or form.”

Nabena told Saraki that he is free to leave the APC, while warning him not to “try to destroy a house that gave him accommodation”.

He also accused him of being the brains behind the emergence of the rAPC.

“We are aware that a number of Saraki’s aides and close allies have left APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For example, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje has returned to his former home in PDP; Saraki’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed has withdrawn his membership from APC,” the statement continued.

“We are also not unaware of the fact that Saraki is the brawn and the brains of the so-called Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC).

“APC is a democratic institution and Saraki is free to make choices in accordance with the laws of the country. But he cannot continue to take members of APC for a ride.

“Politics is based on trust. Saraki has betrayed the trust reposed on him by the party. If he wants to leave APC, let him leave peacefully, and not try to destroy a house that gave him accommodation when he needed it most.

“His current attitude can only be the action of a traitor or a double agent.”


Saraki’s presidential ambition divides R-APC

Split in R-APC as Saraki moves to join presidential race

Posted By: Yusuf Alli

•May lock horns with Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, Atiku, Makarfi, others for PDP ticket
•Opposition party leaders want ticket for old members, not defectors
•What Saraki, Atiku discussed in Middle East
•Obasanjo to back consensus candidate even if Atiku emerges

Senate President Bukola Saraki is warming up to join the race for the Presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in August, according to sources in his camp.

Hints about his presidential ambition emerged yesterday; just 24 hours after the Supreme Court cleared him of allegations of impropriety in his declaration of assets form by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

The news immediately threw the camps of Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who are co-drivers of the R-APC with Saraki, into confusion.

Tambuwal and Kwankwaso are also interested in the PDP presidential ticket and sources said it was their primary reason for wanting to return to the party having found out that they could not wrestle the ticket from President Buhari in the APC.

Saraki, who is said to be under pressure from his supporters to vie for the ticket, has been consulting his associates, political strategists, and well-wishers in the last 24 hours.

If he consents to seek the ticket, the move is bound to alter the Reformed-All Progressives Congress(R-APC) permutations ahead of next year’s elections.

The birth of the R-APC was announced last Wednesday by some top members of the APC who claimed the party has failed to live up to expectation.

Saraki travelled to Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday to commission some projects executed by Governor Nyesom Wike.

The Rivers State Governor is the arrowhead of PDP’s plan to stage a comeback next year.

The governor is credited with sponsoring the election of Prince Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP.

But it could not be ascertained last night if Saraki’s unfolding game-plan informed his Port Harcourt trip yesterday.

The camp of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is also said to have been taken aback by Saraki’s sudden interest in the presidential race.

A source knowledgeable about the relationship between Atiku and Saraki yesterday rated the Senate President’s latest move as an “upset and contrary to the discussion by the two leaders in a country in the Middle East.”

The source said “what was agreed upon by Saraki, Atiku and other contestants was that whoever secured the presidential ticket would be supported by all.”

But the source said Saraki “did not give any commitment to back Atiku only for the presidency.”

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Supreme Court verdict on Saraki played a big role in changing the permutations in the R-APC and the PDP.

Rules out continued membership of APC, support for Buhari’s re-election

Saraki, it was gathered, has ruled out remaining in APC or backing Buhari for re-election, declining persuasion by a top presidency official that he should remain in the APC.

The Senate President felt he will “not be able to have moral and emotional stamina to campaign for Buhari in view of his humiliation at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the police on Offa robbery.”

His political family and APC supporters in Kwara State are also said to be opposed to mounting the podium for Buhari in 2018/2019 electioneering.

Investigation also showed that Friday’s ruling of the Supreme Court which cleared him of any corruption stigma was the ‘joker’ Saraki needed to rescue his political career.

“Since the pronouncement of the Supreme Court, the Senate President has become morally emboldened to rev up his presidential ambition. He has started consultations in the last 24 hours,” a source said yesterday.

“So far, the preliminary round of consultations indicate that he might participate in the presidential primaries of the PDP with some R-APC aspirants like Tambuwal and Kwankwaso.

“Initial field report and extensive survey have buoyed his confidence of winning the slot.

“With this development, Saraki will slug it out in PDP with Atiku, ex-Governor Ahmed Makarfi; ex-Minister Tanimu Turaki; ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau; ex-Governor Sule Lamido and others.

“Already, Saraki is done with APC going by the formation of R-APC and the defection of some of his backers and political like-minds to PDP.”

Asked why Saraki cannot stay in APC to challenge Buhari for the presidential ticket, the source added: “he believes he did not deserve the humiliation he went through at the tribunal and in the hands of the police.

“What finally made the Senate President to forsake APC was his being linked with those behind the bank robbery and killings in Offa by the Police.

“I think the police pronouncement did more damage and it was that day he drew the line with APC.

“Also, his family, relations and political supporters in Kwara State don’t want to hear anything about APC. The trauma was too much for them.”

Tension in R-APC camp

Assessing the situation in R-APC on the strength of Saraki’s plan to join the race for PDP presidential ticket, an informed source said: “there is tension everywhere now within our ranks.

“From the look of things, having three R-APC leaders seeking the PDP presidential ticket is like a house divided against itself.

“The coming of Saraki will certainly whittle down the prospect of Tambuwal and Kwankwaso because our calculations will change. And do not forget that these three leaders will still have to confront other presidential hopefuls who are in PDP.

“The race may look open but the path is laced with landmines if R-APC members have to split their votes at the presidential primaries of PDP. It would have been better if Saraki stuck to the negotiated offer of Senate Presidency in 2019.

“You can see that the R-APC innovation may not last more than two months because the leaders may fall apart over presidential ticket.”

Asked if Saraki will not be betraying a mutual understanding between him and Atiku in a Middle East country recently, the source said: “there was no pact. What was agreed upon by Saraki, Atiku and other contestants was that whoever secured the presidential ticket will be supported by all.”

PDP leaders root for ‘old’ party members in presidential ticket race

Party sources also said that some PDP leaders are opposed to ceding the party’s presidential slot to defectors from APC.

“We won’t allow them to come back and take over our house. Many of us believe that the R-APC leaders are looking for a refuge camp in PDP and they should not be dictating to us from a position of weakness,” a PDP BoT member told The Nation.

“If we decide not to readmit them into PDP, they will be politically stranded.

“It will be a disaster handing over our presidential mandate to any of the defecting leaders. We want the ticket for any of our old and consistent members who are in the race like Ahmed Makarfi, Tanimu Turaki, Ibrahim Shekarau, Sule Lamido, and to some extent, Atiku Abubakar.

“These R-APC leaders should know their limit. You don’t run into a house cap-in-hand and seize it from the landlord.”

It was gathered that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has been persuaded to support any consensus candidate picked by PDP and other 30 parties it might form an alliance with.

A member of the NWC said: “We have begged Baba to forgive and forget in supporting any common candidate agreed upon by PDP and other coalition parties.

“We made this request having in mind whether the candidate will be Atiku or not. He has left the option open with a target that the APC must be shown the way out of power in 2019.

“Baba is only after a credible choice that can match Buhari. He is no longer fixated on any candidate.”

Source: The Nation

False assets declaration: Supreme Court frees Saraki

Supreme Court frees Saraki, dismisses remnant assets declaration charges

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Supreme Court on Friday finally laid to rest the trial of a Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on assets declaration and sundry charges instituted against him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad unanimously upheld Saraki’s appeal, by dismissing the remnant three counts, declaring the evidence led by the prosecution as hearsay.

The Danladi Umar-led CCT had, in June last year, terminated the trial upon an application by Saraki, by dismissing the entire 18 counts preferred against the Senate President.

The CCT’s decision was based on the grounds that the prosecution, with its four witnesses and 49 exhibits tendered, only led hearsay evidence which could not be the basis to link Saraki to the 18 counts preferred against him.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruling on December 12, 2017, in an appeal filed by the Federal Government against the decision of the CCT, restored three out of the dismissed 18 counts and ordered Saraki to return to the CCT to defend the three charges.

While Saraki had appealed to the Supreme Court against the part of the Court of Appeal’s decision restoring three of the 18 counts, the Federal Government had cross-appealed against the part of the decision affirming the tribunal’s dismissal of the rest of the 15 counts.

However, in its lead judgment on Friday, Justice Centus Nweze upheld Saraki’s appeal and dismissed the Federal Government’s appeal.

Justice Nweze agreed with the CCT that the evidence led by the prosecution at the tribunal was entirely hearsay.

He held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have restored three out the 18 counts earlier dismissed by the CCT when it agreed that the evidence led by the prosecution was hearsay but went ahead to isolate three of the counts as having been proved.

Justice Nweze quoted a part of the Court of Appeal’s judgment where it held that “the prosecution failed to call those who have direct knowledge of the facts sought to be proved, to testify”.

Faulting the Court of Appeal’s turn around to restore three of the counts based on the evidence it had declared as hearsay, Justice Nweze said was “equivalent to judicial equivalent of a forensic somersault”.

Source: The Punch

Anxiety as Supreme Court decides Saraki’s CCT suit Friday

Saraki: Anxiety As Supreme Court Decides

Senator Bukola Saraki


As the Supreme Court is set to deliver judgement for the second time in the appeal arising from the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false asset declaration, AHURAKA YUSUF ISAH writes that the matter may be laid to rest either way tomorrow.

Justice Musa Mohammed Dattijo-led 5-man panel of the Supreme Court had on April 12 this year fixed tomorrow (July 6) for judgment in the appeal of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, against the ruling of the Court of Appeal in his alleged false declaration of his assets trial.
Unlike in many similar politically potent or exposed cases, Justice Dattijo’s panel adjourned for 85 days to decide whether or not the trial of Saraki on charges of false assets declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), should continue.

Of course, beginning mostly with the Amaechi Vs INEC (2008) 5 NWLR (Pt1080) (p.222) when the apex court heard the appeal on October 25, 2007 and on the same day declared the substitution of Amaechi with Celestine Omehia as illegal, null and void and of no legal efficacy; and went ahead to give reason for the judgement on January 18, 2008.
Justice George Oguntade who read the lead judgement, held that Amaechi, having been validly elected in the PDP primaries remained in the eye of the Law, the candidate who contested the governorship election. Consequently, he ordered Omehia be removed and swear-in Amaechi as Governor of Rivers state immediately.
This tradition was aptly amplified during the determination of several gubernatorial and other forms of explosive appeals the apex court sat on after the 2015 elections. This was to prevent the usual pressure brought to bear on the panel members that sat on such appeals. Every situation deserves its peculiar measure or application, and perhaps that informed the long adjournment in the Saraki’s appeal by the Supreme Court.

However, the Supreme Court is to rule on whether or not there is sufficient evidence for the trial before the CCT to continue.
The two-man panel of the CCT headed by Mr. Danladi Umar had on June 14, 2017 acquitted Saraki of the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him in September 2015.
The CCT anchored its decision on the grounds that the prosecution, with its four witnesses and 48 documentary exhibits tendered, was unable to establish any prima facie case against the Senate President.

Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki, holding that failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it a part of the proof of evidence was fatal to the case. He adjudged as “absurd” that neither Saraki’s statement nor the report of investigation said to have been carried out was produced before the tribunal.
But the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, through its private prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on June 20, 2017, filed an 11-ground notice of appeal against the CCT’s judgment.
It faulted all the grounds on which the CCT predicated Saraki’s acquittal, describing the entire judgment as unreasonable and unconstitutional. Jacobs subsequently filed an appellant’s brief on July 28, 2017 formulating five issues for determination.
Saraki, through his lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), also filed his respondent’s brief on August 22, 2017.
However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ruling on December 12, 2017, restored three out of the dismissed 18 counts and ordered Saraki to return to the CCT to defend the three charges. But both Saraki and the Federal Government were dissatisfied with separate parts of the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
While Saraki had appealed to the Supreme Court against the part of the Court of Appeal’s decision restoring three of the 18 counts, the Federal Government had cross-appealed against the part of the decision affirming the tribunal’s dismissal of the rest of the 15 counts.
At the hearing of Saraki’s appeal and the Federal Government’s cross-appeal on April 12, 2018, the lawyers representing both sides argued against each other’s appeals and in support of their individual cases.
The main concern is whether the Supreme Court will necessarily invoke the power conferred on it by virtue of Section 22 of its Act which mandates it to determine substantive suit as if it is sitting as a Court of first instance. That is if the apex court found a merit in the Federal Government’s appeal. This is the argument in some quarters who opined that what’s the use after adjourning for such longer days (85 days) to deliver judgement in this appeal.
The Supreme Court had on June 23 this year (in the appeal SC.583/ 2016) declared Isah Shuaibu Lau as a senator representing Taraba north and sacked former Sanl Abubakar Danladl in an appeal filed by Lau to decide whether the Taraba state High Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine his Suit because of the involvement of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC as a party to the Suit.
Justice Ashi of an FCT High Court had on July 10, 2015 held that he has no jurisdiction to entertain plaintiff’s claim because INEC, which is a federal agency was included as one of the defendants, and consequently makes it inappropriate for the suit to be heard/determined by States/FCT High court.
Justice Amina Adamu Augie who delivered the lead judgement did not just hold that; ‘’the current position of the law is that in exercising jurisdiction under Section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act, the Federal High Court and the High Court of a state or FCT have concurrent jurisdiction to hear and determine dispute arising from conduct of a party’s primaries’’.
It began when the Federal Government had filed a charge marked ABT/01/15 and dated September 11, 2015, against Saraki who was a two-term governor of Kwara State between May 2003 and May 2011, and a Senate President from June 9, 2015.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari wants him tried for breaching Section 2 of the CCB and Tribunal Act while he was a governor, an offence punishable under Section 23(2) of the Act and Paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Consequently, Saraki on September 22, 2015, pleaded not guilty to the charge which he said was grossly incompetent and ought to be quashed. Refusal of the tribunal to hands-off the trial resulted to Saraki’s lawyers staging a walk-out on the tribunal on November 5, 2015, after they accused the panel of engaging in acts of “judicial rascality”.
In a related development, Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja had adjourned to March 22, 2016 to deliver judgment on another suit that Saraki filed with a view to disqualifying Justice Umar from handling his trial. Saraki had in the suit contended that Justice Umar was not fit and proper to try him considering that the judge also has a criminal allegation hanging on his neck.
He told the court that Mr Umar was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over allegations bothering on corruption. Saraki said he would not be accorded fair-hearing by the tribunal, alleging that the charge pending against him before the CCT was instigated by the anti-graft agency. He argued that Mr Umar, in a bid to save himself from prosecution, would dance to the tune of the EFCC which he said usurped the responsibility of the CCB by recommending his trial for an offence that was allegedly committed years back.
He therefore sought an order nullifying the charge and the proceedings of the CCT on the grounds that they allegedly fell short of the requirements of Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
But following online media report (SaharaReporters), Justice Kafarati suddenly recused himself from the case on March 22, 2016 claiming his reputation had been impugned upon. But the intervention of the then CJN, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, led Justice Kafarati to deliver judgement in the suit on April 15, 2016.
Justice Kafarati held that he lacked jurisdiction to entertain Saraki’s suit, filed under the fundamental human rights enforcement rules, claiming it constituted an abuse of court process. Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos had about that time declined jurisdiction in another suit Saraki filed before him against the matter in CCT.
The defense team had wanted the tribunal to suspend the trial and allow the Supreme Court to pronounce on the competence of the proceeding. Though the CCT declined to stay proceeding on the matter, on November 12, 2015, a Supreme Court panel headed by Justice John Fabiyi (now retired), directed the tribunal to “tarry for a while” to enable them to look into Saraki’s appeal.
This Justice Fabiyi-led panel ruling was greeted by uproar and the panel was subsequently disbanded. The then Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, took over the case and reconstituted a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court that heard the appeal. This new panel led by Justice Mahmoud Mohammed had Justices Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Chima Centus Nweze and Amiru Sanusi.
Nevertheless, in a unanimous judgment on February 5, 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed Saraki’s appeal, even as it ordered his prosecution before the CCT. The apex court which said it was satisfied that the Senate President has a case to answer before the tribunal, affirmed an earlier verdict of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which on October 30, 2015, gave FG the nod to open its case against Saraki.
In the lead judgement delivered by Justice Onnoghen, he held that, “there was no order of the Federal High Court staying the proceedings of the tribunal which was disobeyed by the tribunal. Ihold the view that the instant issue is an attempt at intimidating the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which is very unfortunate.
“In the circumstance I find this issue, like the others already considered of no merit and is accordingly resolved against appellant (Saraki). In conclusion, I find no merit in the appeal which is accordingly dismissed.
“The judgement of the lower court delivered on October 30, 2015 dismissing the appeal of appellant against the ruling of Code of Conduct Tribunal of September 18, 2015 is hereby affirmed. Appeal dismissed’’, Justice Onnoghen held.
Supreme Court is sitting on appeal filed before it by Saraki over his trial at the CCT for false asset declaration for the second time around. If the apex court deliver judgement in this appeal in favour of Saraki, it will mean it has reversed the judgement delivered by the former CJN Justice Mahmud Mohammed-led 7-man panel on February 5, 2016.
If the apex court affirms the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on December 12, 2017, one needs no crystal ball to fore-tell that this will not mark the end of appeal being front-loaded on this trial to the apex court even before the substantive appeal is remitted by either Saraki or the federal government to this final court.
That is if the apex court decides to direct CCT to continue with the already winding and lengthy or endless trial before it. Besides, Mr Danladi may be at cross-road as to the need to reverse self as well, which makes it imperative for the apex court to avoid miscarriage of justice from been occasioned to revert to Section 22 of its Act to decide the matter once and for all on Friday.
Meanwhile, the CCT, on March 8, 2018 suspended its judgment on the false asset declaration charge or the three- count charge FG has proffered against Saraki at the CCT. Mr. Danladi Umar-led two-man panel tribunal announced its decision to “tarry for awhile” in the matter, on a day both FG and Saraki appeared through their lawyers to adopt their final briefs of argument for judgment to be delivered in the case. When the matter was called up, the CCT Chairman, Umar, said the tribunal was hesitant to take further step in the case in view of two pending appeals before the Supreme Court.
However, EFCC on March 3, 2018 filed a two-count criminal charge against the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, trying Saraki on an allegation of false assets declaration. The charge numbered CR/109/18, dated January 25, 2018 and signed by Festus Keyamo (SAN) accused Umar, who is presiding over a case with Charge No. CCT/ABJ/03/12, involving one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo demanding for a bribe of N10 million from Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, sometime in 2012, in Abuja. According to the charge, the alleged bribe was for procuring favourable judgment for Taiwo, an offence, the EFCC said, goes contrary to Section 12(1) (a) & (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.
But the same federal government queried Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, and Festus Keyamo (SAN), over the corruption charges filed against Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Magu was asked to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against the tribunal chairman having being cleared of corruption allegations on two occasions. Like Magu, the senior Lawyer was given till February 20, 2018, to furnish the office of the AGF in writing the detail of who engaged or issued him with authority to file the corruption charges.

Source: Leadership

You have case to answer, Appeal Court orders Saraki back to CCB 

UPDATED: Appeal Court orders Saraki to face trial on three charges

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday nullified the acquittal ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal handed down in favour of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in June this year.

Delivering a unanimous judgment in the appeal filed by the Federal Government against the Senate President’s acquittal, the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal headed by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson dismissed 15 out of 18 counts filed before the CCT on the grounds of lack of evidence.

But the court ruled that Saraki, the former Governor of Kwara State, had a case to answer with respect to three of the counts numbered 4, 5, and 6.

Justice Akomolafe-Wilson who prepared and read the lead ruling, held that there was “ample” evidence led by the prosecution to warrant the Senate President to open his defence in respect of the three counts.

With the Tuesday’s judgement of the Court of Appeal, Saraki will now return to the CCT to open his defence in respect of the three counts.

“It is ordered that this case be remitted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for the respondent (Saraki) to enter his defence,” the Court of Appeal ruled.

In Count 4, which was sustained by the Court of Appeal, Saraki was accused of making false assets declaration at the end of his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on assumption of office as a Senator in 2011 in respect of a property at 17A McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos.

The prosecution contended that the defendant falsely declared to have acquired the property at 17A McDonald, Ikoyi, Lagos September 6, 2006 from the proceeds of sale of rice and sugar.

In Count 5, the prosecution accused Saraki of making false asset declaration at the end of his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on assumption of office as a Senator in 2011 when he declared that he acquired No. 17B McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos on September 6, 2006 from proceeds of sale of rice and sugar.

In Count 6, the prosecution also accused Saraki of making a false declaration in his Assets Declaration Form at the end of tenure as Governor of Kwara in 2007 and on assumption of office as Executive Governor in 2007 by failing to declare his outstanding loan liabilities of N315,054,355.92 out of the loan of N380,000,000 obtained from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

Source: The Punch

The IPOB: Terrorism and Saraki’s rented scholarship on constitutionalism


By Professor S. A. Zuru
It is a contempt on legal logic and legal reasoning the position of Dr. Saraki on the illegality of the Nigerian Army’s declaration on IPOB  and most unfortunate that, despite his credentials and pedigree, he could with, reckless abandon, display this degree of poverty of knowledge on the subject matter. I am pained to have to educate your bandwagon of buy-one-and-get-one-for-free legislators on the jurisprudence of terrorism. 
According to Dr. Tarik Ali in his book ” the clash of fundamentalism” a terrorist is a terror merchant and a crusader of ideology of hate whose belief structure negates all entries of rational reasoning and sanctity of the society and human life, he went further to argue that such individual or groups are enemies of the state because they do not recognize the authority of the state and still went further to say that, such groups must not be allowed to exploit the benefits of progress of modern civilization because as a terrorist all he or they know is to undermine progress and destroy civilization”.
In a similar thesis on this issue, Dr. Christopher Huchinghson (another revered scholar of international terrorism, while reviewing the case of Timothy Mackvey, the Oklahoma terror bomber in his book “Regime Change” had this to say, ” Terrorism has lost the inherent accommodation of human conscience and common humanity and a terrorist is a person or groups whose ideology is anchored on hate, revenge, ethnic profiling, cleansing and destructive violence. Dr. Christopher argued further that, every terror cell and group represents a monumental existential threat to continuation of the human family and the concept of modern nation States and therefore every nation state has both moral and legal obligation as a member of organised international community to degrade, disrupt and destroy every vintages of terrorism. 
However, it is obvious from your pre-emptive outburst that your pedestrian scholarship on the issue has denied you the benefits of sound educated judgement. The reality is that, in the case of hyper security emergencies, no nation has the luxury of politically correct niceties of legal synonyms and nomenclature. It is an exercise in futility the grand design to deploy the inconsequential legal technicalities inoder to undermine the power of the State and its resolve to destroy home grown terrorism. Without prejudice to your addictive naiveties, permit me to ask this question, if the military, after a clinical prognosis of the characteristics of a threat, can not define it accordingly in order to enable the country to develop a counter strategy to confront it, then who would? 
I insist that your buy-one-get-one-for-free legislature with all it’s attendant burden of integrity is not, by every figment of imagination, in a position to do it.
 When George W Bush Jr made his famous ” either you are with us or with them” speech at ground zero during the Sept 11 describing and indicting alqa’ida as a terrorist organization, he didn’t consult the US  Senate, similarly, when Cameron, the British Prime Minister, in the wake of July 7 attack, described it as terrorism after the Metropolitan Police had done that, he didn’t seek clearance of the British Parliament to do that. Additionally, as a leader of a vital organ of the Government, you must understand that you can’t be in between an electric switch, is either you’re on or you’re off. 
Finally, on the ruse and power of words, I would refer you to President Barack Obama’s campaign speech “just words”, lest I forget,  the legendary Muhammad Ali had this additional advice for you “a man at 40 who still sees the world exactly the way he did at 20, has wasted 20 years of his life “

Saraki And The Alturabi Model

Saraki And The Alturabi Model

Bukola Saraki

Dr BukolaSaraki the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District who emerged in a most dubious way as Senate President on June 9, 2015 in an election that had only 47 Senators in attendance has declared as unconstitutional and illegal the categorization of the IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu as a terrorist organization. 

He personally signed a statement on Monday September 18 in which he said that the National Assembly or more precisely the Senate he presides will investigate the matter.

“I wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of the southeast states and the categorization of the group as a terrorist organization by the Nigerian military are unconstitutional and does not follow due process”, he wrote. 

What was latent to some is now apparent to all. And no one is to be blamed except President Buhari himself.

Many questions are begging for answers here. Is Bukola Saraki not part of this government? Doesn’t he have access to the President? So what does he want to achieve by issuing a public statement contradicting the government’s position of trying to maintain law and order? Is it the Senate that is empowered to declare an action unconstitutional? 

In any case, at this material time when preserving peace and peaceful coexistence is the main issue, what does Bukola want to achieve with this clearly unhelpful statement?

Since occupying this seat, by hook and crook, Bukola Saraki is acting like a co-president of Nigeria. He has forgotten the fact that he was elected by a fraction of Kwara state and is just one among his 108 other colleagues while the President of Nigeria was elected by the entire nation. 

For instance, when Donald Trump was elected President of the US last year, President Buhari rightly congratulated him on behalf of Nigeria. Bukola Saraki then sent a separate congratulatory letter to Trump even pledging to “work with him”! Can you beat that? Is Bukola aware of who he is and what his limitations are? I don’t think so. This joke is really getting too far it seems.

It reminds me of what happened in the Republic of Sudan when General Hassan Al-Bashir came to power as President and Dr Hassan Al-Turabi became the Speaker of the Sudan Parliament.

 Al-Turabi used the parliament to start chipping away the powers of the president gradually and subtly.

 Before long Al-Bashir found that he was just a president in name as all his powers were taken away by Al-Turabi. Al-Bashir had to quickly stamp his feet and re-assert presidential power. Saraki is lifting straight from Al-Turabi’s playbook.

He should be reminded that it is the constitutional duty of the Armed Forces to help in maintaining law and order in aid of civil authority. The patriotic armed forces of Nigeria are currently undertaking these operations in almost all the 36 states of the federation such as Operation Lafiya Dole; Operation Delta Safe; Operation Harbin Kunama; Operation Iron Fence among others. 

No one has ever said all these operations are illegal as everyone knows the government is doing these in discharging its primary responsibility of protecting life and property of the people.

 The armed forces declared the IPOB a terrorist organization because they know them as they are directly engaged with them.

 The state governors in the five south-eastern states who bear the brunt of the IPOB activities courageously and correctly proscribed the organization just like Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna proscribed the Shia movement. Everywhere in the world it is the executive arm of government that proscribes dangerous organizations. It is nothing new so what is Bukola talking about?

The Senate is on recess in any case. Does it mean government should fold its arms and wait for Bukola’s Senate to debate such serious threat to National Security before it takes action? 

Does Bukola know that he represents only 1/3 of Kwara state and that any Senator can be Senate President and so cannot compare himself with Nigeria’s president? Is he aware that even if the National Assembly has a role in this when it is on recess the President can take action to arrest the decent to chaos?

 In any case, is peace not more important than Bukola’s legality? Does Bukola know more about the situation than the Federal and all the affected state governments who are on the same page on this?

Even for confirmation of appointments, in the US where we copy the presidential system they have what is called recess appointments so that the President can directly appoint people during recess which George Bush did when John Bolton was rejected as ambassadorial nominee and Bolton was appointed during recess and remained US ambassador to UN for the Bush years despite his rejection by the US Senate. 

Bukola should know that there is no co-president in the Nigerian constitution and there can’t be two or multiple centres of power. It is simply impossible.

Bukola may give the PDP opposition party the Deputy Senate President and get away with it. He may even pocket the ruling party leadership as it appears now with his filthy riches and go scot free. He may pocket all the Senators, the distinguished and the disgraceful, and get away with it. But he cannot control or direct the Armed Forces of Nigeria, disgrace them publicly for doing their constitutional duty to the nation because there is only one Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces who is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 The constitution does not even have provision for a deputy C-in-C. Bukola should know that even Senate resolutions are merely advisory and cannot use that to hold the country to ransom as he threatened to do recently with regards to confirmations of presidential nominees.

He has so far occupied the leadership of the Nigerian Senate in a most unconventional and clearly illegal manner for over two years now. Like everything he has touched –Societe General Bank, which is now defunct; Kwara State government which is now paying his debts, the Senate of Nigeria is a shame and a disgrace to the nation since its last leadership left thanks to the vaulting ambition of this one man. In due course this page will address that ambition and put it in its proper context. But what is happening now is what the Hausa say: “the meat is pulling the dog”. History is on the side of the oppressed.

Source: Leadership