Nigerians say the Senate president is setting a terrible precedence by disobeying the law
Say if Nigerians voted, they will never have chosen him Senate president – NewsRescue

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has explained his decision to stay away from the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Friday, and has criticised the court’s decision to order his arrest.

The chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, issued a bench warrant against Mr. Saraki for not appearing to face a 13-count charge of corruption, brushing aside a Federal High Court order seeking to stop Mr. Saraki’s arraignment.

The Code of Conduct Bureau had slammed a 13-count charge of corruption on Mr. Saraki.

In charge number ABT/01/15, Mr. Saraki is accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state.

The Senate President is also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr. Saraki said he refused to appear before the tribunal relying on an order issued by a Federal High Court on Thursday, directing that the case against him be halted.

He accused the tribunal of pursuing a political agenda, and said he was certain the court would give him justice.

Read his full statement:

CCT Defiance of Subsisting Court Order : Our Stand

Following the development in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) today, Friday, September 18, 2015when the Tribunal chose to ignore the subsisting order of a Federal High Court by sitting, we hereby state our position as follows:

1. While the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, had stated and maintains that he is ready to submit himself to due process of the law on any issue concerning him, he also believes he has an inalienable right to resort to the same judiciary for protection when he feels his fundamental rights are about to be infringed upon.

2. It is for this reason that Dr. Saraki, having satisfied himself that the case filed by the CCB and the manner in which the case was filed show that he will not be given justice, resorted to the Federal High Court for the determination of the issues of competence of the prosecutor as well as compliance with the procedure stipulated in the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

3. The Federal High Court on Thursday, September 17, 2015, therefore ordered that the all parties in the case should appear before it on Monday, September 21, 2015. The implication of this ruling by a Court of competent jurisdiction is that the sitting today has been overtaken by event. It is for this reason that Dr. Saraki chose to go about with his normal official schedule.

4. Today at the Tribunal, Counsel to the Senate President, Mr. M. A. Mahmud (SAN), raised a motion stating that there is a pending constitutional matter before the Federal High Court to be decided on Monday and that the Tribunal should hold the trial until the constitutional matter is disposed of.

5. We are however dismayed that the Tribunal chose to disregard the order of the Federal High Court and the motion to suspend hearing till Monday when all parties are expected to argue their positions on the constitutional matter.

6. It is also a surprise to us that despite the application by the lead counsel to the Senate President that he will produce Dr. Saraki on Monday and the personality of the person involved as the Number three man in the country, the Tribunal insisted on issuing a warrant of arrest as if its intention is simply to embarrass Dr. Saraki. We are not unmindful of the fact that the Tribunal is acting under political influence and external pressure. This is dangerous to our democracy.

7. The conduct of the Tribunal today left nobody in doubt that it cannot do justice on the matter before it. It is also clear that today’s decision is an abuse of the rule of law which portends danger to our judicial system. The Tribunal has equally set a bad precedent in the way and manner it conducted itself during the proceedings.

8. We want to emphasise the fact that this is not part of any war against corruption but using state institutions to fight political opponents and seeking to achieve through the back door what some people cannot get through democratic process.

9. We need to caution here that in a desperate bid to settle political scores and nail imaginary enemies, we should not destroy our democratic institutions and heat the polity for selfish reasons. Let us all learn from history.

9. The Senate President is a law abiding citizen and his absence from the Tribunal today was based on the legal advice he received from his counsel that the Tribunal will respect the decision of the Federal High Court which is obviously a superior court of records. Also, he relied on a letter from the Chief Justice of Nigeria directed to the Chairman of the Tribunal last May that they are not judicial officers and are inferior to the regularsanni High Court as defined by the law and that they take official oath not judicial oath.

10. We will like to state therefore that Dr. Saraki will not do anything to undermine the judicial process and authority but he will always act to protect his fundamental human rights.

Nigerians React

Nigerians interviewed strongly condemned Saraki’s brazen refusal to abide by court summons. My Adeyemi from Ofa in Kwara State said, “so any Nigerian who feels the court will be partisan should likewise refuse to appears when summoned as the Senate president has done? These people feel they are above the law.”

Kunle Akintayo from Lagos said, “Saraki is a goat. If he contested via public vote he would have been the last choice for Senate president Nigerians would ever have voted for.”

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1.It is true that PMB has been one-sided with appointments of Northerners one too many.However the appointment of two Yorubas for the VP yesterday seemed to be a sign that those to work with PMB and the VP at close quarters might be only those they personally know and can vouch for.

2.It is also true that Yorubas should have had more appointments by now in accordance with the support given to PMB during the elections.

3.PMB and those in Aso Rock must have known by now that stats on the appointments are circulating in the social media which can turn the Yoruba mind against PMB IF CARE IS NOT TAKEN

4.But let it be known that Yorubas do not see the appointment of their kinsmen to public positions as a do or die or as appointments for the Yoruba nation.Most of the time those who are really happy are close friends or families of those appointed.But Yorubas will generally rejoice over appointments that are likely to lead to deliver expected dividends whether Yoruba or not eg Dr Adesina and Prof.Itse Sagay.Despite serving in GEJ govt and delivering Dr Adesina has become respected by Yorubas .Same for Prof. Sagay whom we have known from our students’ days at Ife.

5.On the other hand Yorubas have noticed that a certain ethnic group which voted massively against PMB has been most vociferous over the appointments made by PMB. Have Yorubas not gone to court over the appointments because we are docile? Hell,no.But our way of thinking problems out and seeking solutions are probably different.If Yorubas did not vote for PMB and someone who calls himself or herself a leader of thought ask about appointments from him many Yorubas will ask him or her “WHO SENT YOU”.That is why we did not query OBJ about his appointments.Even the GEJ administration was not exactly fair to us but our attention was on his performance and not on appointments.We do not believe in reaping political  gains or appointments from those we do not like or respect politically.

6.All the same PMB must obey the constitution and must address the issue of federal character even if he has to appoint from the APC members in the South-East and the South-South.To do otherwise may cause further damage for him from even the Yorubas who are in love with him.

7.However,we must say what is really going on in our minds which may tantamount to a contradiction to what we have stated above.You may agree or disagree…BUT DOES IT MATTER IF PMB’S APPOINTMENTS ARE 98% FROM HIS VILLAGE IN DAURA IF THEY ARE COMPETENT AND CAN DELIVER ON DIVIDENDS OF DEMOCRACY TO NIGERIANS?…Please think about that and react to it if you may in our comment section below



INCREDIBLE!...NIGERIANS ABROAD REMITTED $20B IN 2014, SAYS OSINBAJO!Diaspora Nigerians remitted home about $20b last year, the Federal Government said yesterday.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the government will tap into the experience the Nigerians abroad to deepen the economy.

Those in the Diaspora will however wait for some time before they can start voting in elections.

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke at the 2015 Diaspora Day held at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The theme of the conference is: “Diaspora and Nigeria Change Agenda.”

The VP said legislation, huge finance, and confidence in the electoral system were required before diaspora voting can commence.

He said: “We are also aware of the importance of voting rights of Nigerians abroad. But to achieve this, the National Assembly will have to legislate. Diaspora voting is in Nigeria’s future.

“Because obviously there is a lot to be done including building confidence in the Nigerian electoral process. The skills and planning required in planning a number of national election in an atmosphere of continued suspicion of each party is a major challenge by itself.

“Our electoral process is evolving and as greater confidence is built in the institutions and processes associated with it we may then create voting opportunities for our citizens abroad in the not too distant future,’’ he said.

According to him, his administration was building a new Nigeria that requires the support and participation of all, including Nigerians in the Diaspora.

He said: “Permit me to take this opportunity to integrate the place and role of Nigerians abroad in the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration.

“This is because we have embarked on the building of a bold new Nigeria and we need all hands on deck.

“The time has come for talents from home and abroad to mix it up in patriotic zeal to fashion the Nigeria of our dreams.” He stated.

He added: “First let me quickly lay out our medium to long term strategy as a government.

“It is namely to build an economy led by a strong and responsible private sector.”

The President said government’s intervention would come in the provision of physical and economic infrastructure and social policies that provide opportunity and succour for the 110 million extremely poor Nigerians in the country.

He said the administration was targeting consistent generation of 5,000 MW of power daily by early 2016, describing it as a modest target from what was already available.

The President also said efforts were on to complete a variety of outstanding power-related projects in order to lay the foundation for 10,000MW and 15,000 MW subsequently.

Buhari said government was pursuing a long overdue reform in the hydrocarbon industry and reorganising the NNPC and holding the officials accountable for past revenue losses.

He said government would improve the local refining capacity to reduce the over 37 per cent of foreign exchange applied to the importation of refined products.

In agriculture, he said a programme of self-sustenance was on in the production of rice, wheat cotton in order to reduce foreign exchange requirement for importation of such items.

He said rice importation alone gulped about $4 billion annually adding that seven rice producing states were working in concert with the Federal Government to map out the pathway to self-sustenance in rice production within 30 months.

He said the agricultural and agro-allied value chain remained a priority of government in job creation plans as it would support local agriculture.

He said plans were on to create a friendly and efficient environment for investments by removing bureaucracies and red tapes in approval processes stressing that the incentive regime in the country would also be reviewed.

Efforts, he said, are on to return all garment and textile factories to full production capacity within the shortest time possible.

He said to address youth unemployment, government will invest in infrastructure, technology, agriculture and mining while the one-meal-a-day programme for primary schools would also create many jobs and business opportunities.

The President said that government would implement social intervention schemes to make no fewer than 110 million extremely poor Nigerians to participate in the new Nigeria.

According to him, the experience and exposure of Nigerians abroad would be tapped to building a thriving economy as done by other nations.

He pointed out that India, Japan, China and Korea attained global status following the contributions of their nationals abroad.

The President said the administration was convinced that the nationals abroad could participate in the change agenda with their 15 million population with about four million in U.S. and Canada and about one million in London.

He said: “Besides, the financial remittances from Nigerians abroad have well reached an estimate of over $20 billion in 2014.

“With the potential of such huge populations abroad and attendant financial muscle, no government can actually totally ignore such persons.”

He said the place to start was to develop a reliable data of Nigerian citizens abroad using the Embassies and missions.

The President said the proposed Diaspora Commission if signed into law would open a new chapter and create the platform for engaging Nigerians abroad and allowing their expertise to permeate the country.

Urging Nigerians in diaspora to be good ambassadors in their host countries, he assured that the government would ensure that their rights were protected.