Monday, 21 September 2015

"President Buhari has nothing to do with Senator Saraki's trial and cannot stop it" - Presidency

Buhari and Saraki
After days of silence on the issue, the Presidency has rejected what it described as “attempts to link the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, to the presidency”, saying that it has nothing to do with Saraki's trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and cannot stop it.

This is just as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continued their war of attrition over the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s prosecution of the war against corruption, with the opposition party accusing the APC of habouring an undemocratic plot to control the National Assembly, undermine its statutory role of checks and balances and set the stage for dictatorship.

The PDP, which on Saturday accused the Buhari administration and APC of plotting to use the apparatus of state to remove Senate President Saraki, said yesterday that no amount of blackmail and diversionary tactics by the APC would deter it from exposing the deliberate agenda, already in motion, by the present administration to destroy the nation’s democracy and impose a dictatorship on the country.

But in a quick riposte, APC dismissed what it described as the “rash of wild accusations against the APC-led federal government” as confirmation that the PDP had perfected plans to distract the Buhari-led government from its task of reviving the country’s fortunes.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, yesterday said trying to link the presidency to Saraki’s travails before the tribunal was unacceptable, adding: “Views to the effect that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) can only act upon external instigation are equally uninformed.”

Saraki faces a 13-count charge bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets, levelled against him by the CCB.

But Shehu said there was no place in law that the bureau and the tribunal should take instructions from any quarters.
“As an independent institution equal to any superior court of record, the tribunal is set up by the constitution to determine the issue of default, false declaration or forgery in assets declaration.
“This therefore is purely a judicial process and has nothing to do with the presidency.
“If anyone has an axe to grind with what they are doing, they should do it in a judicial manner by challenging those actions in a proper court of law. Let them hire a good team of lawyers to prove their innocence.
“Government has no desire to persecute anybody. The president has vowed to respect the rule of law and this is what he is doing by staying out of this matter.
“He has said times without number that the war against corruption has no sacred cows,” Shehu stated. Shehu said that ‎even if the president wanted to help, there was no way he could do anything.
“Is he going to ask the judge to stop the trial?” he asked?
Shehu said Saraki’s trial was purely a judicial process, the type of which is routinely dealt with by the CCB and the CCT.
“There are many cases like this that are going on. The president has sworn to an oath to protect the constitution and will not violate that oath,” the president’s media aide added.

Credit: ThisDay

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