Senators split over Saraki’s fate, rule out impeachment
The commencement of trial of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged false declaration of assets has thrown the Senate into confusion regarding what should become the fate of the embattled number three citizen.
As many senators resolved to stand with him till the logical end of the trial, others were said to have mooted the idea of persuading him to resign in exchange of a possible soft landing.
At a meeting at the Asokoro residence of Sen. Magartarkada Wammako, the Senator representing Sokoto Central Senatorial District, they resolved to protect the seat of the Senate President.
Senator Ibrahim Abdulrafiu (APC, Kwara South), who confirmed the position of senators, said the lawmakers reiterated their earlier stance that Saraki’s trial was a ‘mere persecution’ and an attempt to tarnish his image in ways not experienced before.
He said: “We have since discovered that the trial of the Senate President is a mere attempt to blackmail him and make him look bad in the court of public opinion. No more, no less. A dispassionate analysis of the proceeding of the CCT yesterday has pointed to the fact that the APC-led Executive is still embittered against Dr. Saraki over the manner of his election as the Senate President.”
“This is why we are standing for the Senate President and we will so do till the very end. We are doing this not for him but for the institution of the Senate that he eminently represents. We will never allow any arm of government to rubbish the cherished autonomy of the Senate.”
However, commenting on the calls in some quarters that the Senate President should resign from his position, Rafiu stated that the senators insisted that the calls were borne out of ignorance and pure hatred.
“The senators described the calls as ‘wicked and unfounded,’” Rafiu added:
“For those calling for the impeachment of the Senate President, we urge them to avail themselves of the provisions of the law relating to such a sensitive step. As far as we are concerned, there is nothing like that on the table, and if anybody is trying to import that from the outside of the Senate, God help them. All I know is that they will have to produce as many as a 100 senators to achieve that aim. As long as they don’t have the majority, the call is a tall dream that will remain a figment of the imagination of the groups and their sponsors.”
Another group of senators comprising mostly the Unity Forum Senators who tried in vain to stop Saraki from becoming Senate President last year also met late Tuesday night till the wee hours of Wednesday and resolved to advise Saraki to toe the path of honour by resigning.
They were said to have expressed concern that the trial of Saraki was continuously producing adverse effect on the image of the apex lawmaking body.