The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, who alongside other lawmaker leaders is facing trial on forgery case, has accused the Presidency of “relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate.”
The Senate President faced with numbers of legal battle, insinuated in a statement that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari that has been seizing the apparatus of executive powers to pursue its nefarious agenda.
A statement by the senate president held that the senate leadership was innocent of the charges and the executives were only acting to satisfy some hidden agenda.
Saraki held that the legislators will never give in to any form of intimidation, no matter how big the consequence may be.
“If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent in undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest,” Saraki said.
“Today we the leaders of the Nigerian Senate reiterate our innocence against the charges filed by the Attorney General of the Federal Government of Nigeria at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court on the allegations of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules document,” Saraki said in the statement.
“In our view, the charges filed by the Attorney General represent a violation of the principle of the Separation of Powers between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch as enshrined in our Constitution. Furthermore, it is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General. These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate.”
He said the misguided action by the Attorney General does not promote the public interest and neither does it benefit the nation.
“At a time when the whole of government should be working together to meet Nigeria’s many challenges, we are once again distracted by the Executive Branch’s inability to move beyond a leadership election among Senate peers. It was not an election of Senate peers and Executive Branch participants,” he said.
“Over the past year the Senate has worked to foster good relations with the Executive Branch. It is in all of our collective interests to put aside divisions and get on with the nation’s business. We risk alienating and losing the support of the very people who have entrusted their national leaders to seek new and creative ways to promote a secure and prosperous Nigeria. As leaders and patriots, it is time to rise above partisanship and to move forward together.
Saraki added: “The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.
“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost Legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.”
Responding, President Buhari, in statement signed by his spokesperson, said, Saraki’s claims is “fictitious”.
Mr. Femi Adesina said “the claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while, if it had been backed with more information”.
He challenged the senate president to identify those he described as the “government within the government”.
Adesina said if Saraki had provided evidence, he would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture.
Adesina said: “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.
“To claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is anybody’s stooge is not only ridiculous, but also preposterous. It is not in the character of our President.”