Thursday, June 30, 2016

Forgery Allegation: FG Urges Saraki, Ekweremadu To Face Trial

The Federal Government has urged Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu to face their forgery case and clear their names instead of politicising the matter.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina on Monday admonished Saraki and Ekweremadu to leave President Muhammadu Buhari out of their fate after Saraki complained that he was being persecuted.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal on Wednesday said the Senate principal officers should not give the impression that the case against them is an Executive versus Legislature war. The alleged forgery case is not a trial of the Senate or the National Assembly as a body, but that of Saraki and Ekweremadu, Lawal said. But the Senate insisted that the trial is an attempt to intimidate the lawmakers, overwhelm them and force a change of leadership.

 Lawal urged them to allow the judiciary to do its job, saying dragging the National Assembly into it is unwarranted. In a statement, Lawal said: ”Since the arraignment of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, before the Federal High Court on Monday, June 27, 2016, the two leaders of the Senate, have issued two separate press statements conveying messages that are far from being complementary to the person and government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 “Senator Saraki in his statement clearly insinuated that Mr. President is not in control of his administration and that a cabal now runs the federal administration. On the part of Senator Ekweremadu, he insists that President Buhari is exhibiting dictatorial tendencies that can derail our democracy. “From their statements, the two leaders of the Senate also gave this erroneous impression that by their arraignment, it is the entire Senate and indeed, the Legislative Arm of Government that is on trial.

 “They want the public to believe that their prosecution is utter disregard by the Executive Arm of government for the constitutional provisions of separation of powers and that preferring the forgery case against them is a vendetta exercise.” Since the case is in court, he said, the Judiciary should be allowed to do its job.” He stressed that the case only involves the four accused persons. “It is not the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that is involved and definitely not the House of Representatives.

 To bring the National Assembly as a body into this court case is totally unwarranted. It can only be for other purposes and reasons outside the investigation and legal proceedings. “A case of forgery is usually preferred against individuals. This is not different. As was the case with a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, who was accused of certificate forgery, what he did was to resign, honorably. The matter did not even go to court. “In that particular case, it was never orchestrated as a matter for the National Assembly.

 The individual involved did not drag the entire Legislature into the matter.” He pointed out that the statements by the Senate President and his Deputy were contradictory. “While Senator Saraki believes Mr. President has abdicated his powers and that a cabal is in charge of Federal Administration, Senator Ekweremadu says President Buhari has become a dictator. “Our democracy is still evolving and being deepened. The provisions of the separation of powers are entrenched in our Constitution and should guide everyone in our conduct.

The rule of law is indeed supreme. “This particular case is before the judiciary and is not being decided by the Executive Arm of Government. All that has transpired is still within the confines of our laws. These are the rights to accuse, to be investigated and be arraigned before the court. “To impute other considerations to the process is unfortunate. We should allow the process to take its course, in consonance with the dictates of the law and total obeisance to the cardinal democratic principle of the separation of powers.”

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