Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CCT trial: Senate caucuses meet, discuss Saraki’s fate

Members of the Senate met separately at various caucus levels on Monday to discuss the fate of Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is to resume his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false declaration of assets.
CCT trial: Senate caucuses meet, discuss Saraki’s fate
Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

It was gathered that the lawmakers discussed the issues peculiar to their interest, especially the likely effect of the trial of Saraki at the CCT.

The Supreme Court had on February 5 ruled that Saraki should face his trial over false asset declaration.

There are fears among senators, who resume plenary on Tuesday (today), which they suspended two weeks ago, that there could be another move to challenge Saraki’s leadership at the Senate over his trial.

It is further feared that Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, may be removed if they are found guilty by the CCT.

Investigations by one of our correspondents revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the upper chamber met in the house of one of their leaders and resolved to support the Saraki/Ekweremadu joint ticket.

A PDP senator, who craved anonymity, told one of our correspondents on Monday that his colleagues had agreed to maintain decorum in case the All Progressives Congress Senators, who are against Saraki’s leadership, decide to create any scene on the floor today.

The Senator from the South-East geopolitical zone, said, “As members of the opposition, we are ready to pass another vote of confidence in Saraki because he is truly a stabilising factor in the nation’s legislature.

“He commands a lot of respect among majority of members. He is accessible and he carries everyone along, not minding your political party or group affiliation within the Senate.

“So, as PDP senators, we believe that the Senate President should be given the benefit of the doubt as he pleads his case before the tribunal.”

However, one of our correspondents learnt that the Senate Unity Forum, the group that pushed for the emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan and George Akume as Senate President and deputy respectively, also held another marathon meeting at an undisclosed location on Monday.

None of the members spoke on record but one of them from the South-West said they met to perfect their strategy to produce the next Senate President in case Saraki was indicted at the court.

The lawmaker added, “We have been meeting as members and strategising on an individual basis. I can assure you that we have our game plan, which we will keep to ourselves.”

Asked whether the nation should expect a rowdy or stormy session during plenary today, the Senator said, “We are senior citizens, we can’t fight on the floor. We are already winning the battle; very soon, you will see us in action.”

The leadership of the Senate was also said to have engaged in another round of strategic meetings on Monday, which allegedly led to an emergency meeting between the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, and President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa.

Culled from www.punchng.com

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