The Senate has rejected calls for the resignation of Senate President Bukola Saraki, following the ruling by the Supreme Court that his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal should proceed.
This was disclosed by the Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi, in a statement on Monday.
According to Senator Abdullahi, who said he was speaking on behalf of his colleagues, there was no basis for the Senate president to resign, insisting that Mr. Saraki’s ordeal was politically motivated and not about any anti-corruption fight.
“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”, he said.
On this ground, he stressed 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”.
The Senate’s stand was in response to a call by Senator Kabiru Marafa, a member of the Unity Forum, for the Senate president to step down, so as not to drag the image of the red chamber in the mud with his trial.
Giving further grounds for the rejection of calls for Mr. Saraki’s resignation, the Senate spokesperson added, “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”.
While expressing support of senators for Saraki, who is facing a 13-count charge bordering on false assets declaration and money laundering when he was governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, Abdullahi said: “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 ranting 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”, he added.
Mr. Abdullahi said the Senate is stable and focused on “objective consideration and timely passage” of the 2016 budget proposal.
“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”, he concluded.
National Broadcast: PDP Slams Buhari Over ‘Disappointing, Empty’ Speech – PDP
Recall that Buhari in his speech called for an end to the protest, adding that his government had already accepted and started implementing demands of the protesters.
He, however, failed to acknowledge the shooting of protesters by soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
Reacting in a statement on Thursday night by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodinyan, the PDP said Buhari’s address was depressing and failed empathy test.
The party appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the nation.
PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
This was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS- Lekki Massacre,” signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, late on Tuesday.
Ologbodiyan said, “The Peoples Democratic Party, condemns in very strong terms, the killing of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos as well as other parts of our country.
“It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening.
“Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.
“The PDP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to these wanton killings across our nation.
#EndSARS: Gov Bello Warns Protesters Against Overthrowing Buhari
He stated this during an interview with Africa Independent Television AIT on Monday night.
Bello called on his fellow state governors to tack charge in their respective states so as to prevent loss of lives and properties due to attacks by hoodlums.
He, however, warned Nigerian youths to resist the temptation of using the current situation in the country to seek an undemocratic change in leadership.
The Governor warned that those interested in the presidency must wait till 2023 and go through democratic processes.
He urged the protesting youths to leave the streets and embrace dialogue.
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