Forgery case a distraction to Senate, says spokesman
The Senate yesterday said the forgery case against its presiding officers- Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu- has been a distraction to the law-making body and that the withdrawal is a confirmation of its position that the country cannot afford any sharp division between the various arms of government.
In a statement by its spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate said the decision to withdraw the case and its subsequent dismissal, as well as the discharge of the defendants, has confirmed its earlier position that the case was indeed an abuse of court process, having been dismissed earlier by the court.
“We have always said it that that case was politically motivated. The executive cannot decide for the legislature the genuineness or otherwise of its Standing Rules.
“However, where there is a crack in the wall, it is easy for others to capitalise on the differences between us. Now that senators have closed their ranks, the executive is only taking the right cue.
“We are happy with this development. We believe it is a sign of good things to come, a victory for democracy, a victory for separation of powers, checks and balances and constitutionalism.”
Abdullahi added: “We commend the judiciary for its continuous dedication and commitment to the rule of law in our democracy. We restate our confidence in their ability to adjudicate and dispense justice in all matters in the polity, which no doubt greatly contribute to national productivity.
“Our commendation also goes to the Federal Ministry of Justice for being courageous enough to do the right thing.”
The senate, however, called on the government to go the whole hog and withdraw other cases with political colouration, saying this is a period for the political leadership to present a united front.
“There is an emergency in the country; the economy is in crisis. This has resulted in escalating and excruciating poverty among our people. Social problems are on the rise. There are conflicts across the country. National values are being eroded. Crucial infrastructure and social services are collapsing. These are the things that should pre-occupy our minds, especially now that our economy is in recession.
“The international community will take us more seriously when they see that everybody in the national leadership is speaking along the same line of solving the economic problem, encouraging productivity, creating employment, promoting discipline and working to make our country great.
“For us in the senate, the assignment of nation building continues. We will, as always, re-dedicate ourselves to serve the nation for the benefit of our citizens.
“We assure our people that we will always protect their interests and like the Senate President said when we resumed a few weeks ago, our major pre-occupation now is to get the economy back on its feet again,” Abdullahi stated.