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Senate alleges executive interference in planned trial of Saraki, Ekweremadu

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Seye Olumide
20 June 2016   |   4:46 am
The Senate said yesterday that the planned trial of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu over alleged forgery of Senate Rules...

Says dictatorship back in Nigeria

The Senate said yesterday that the planned trial of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu over alleged forgery of Senate Rules, was a direct affront by the executive on the legislature which was forbidden by the Constitution.

Asking President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the desperation of some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other key officials of the Federal Government ‎to destroy the National Assembly, the Senate noted that such desperation to get at perceived political enemies was the reason that the anti-curruption war had lost credibility.

A statement issued by the Senate through the chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi‎, yesterday evening pointed out that “Nigeria’s democracy is in danger and that the attempt by the Executive Arm of the Federal Government to muzzle the legislature and criminalise legislative processes in order to cause leadership change in the National Assembly is a return to the era of impunity and lack of respect for due process which we all fought to abolish.”

‎Captioned “Forgery Case, An Unconstitutional Violation of Principles of Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances”, the statement noted that

“The Nigerian people have enough economic hardship at this time requiring the full attention and cooperation of the three arms of government, instead of these attempts to distract and politicise governance”

“We are in a state of economic emergency such that what the National Assembly needs at this time are executive bills and proposals aimed at resolving the crises of unemployment, currency depreciation, inflation, crime and insecurity.”

The upper chamber urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to please call his Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to order” adding the “the Senate of the Federal Republic voted freely to elect its leadership into office and continuing attempts to change that leadership through the wanton abuse of judicial processes cannot stand in the eyes of the world”

“It is clear that the Attorney General and party leaders behind this action either lack the understanding of the underlining principles of constitutional democracy, the concept of Separation of Powers, checks and balances and parliamentary convention or they just simply do not care if the present democracy in the country survives or collapses in their blinded determination to get Saraki and Ekweremadu by all means necessary, including abuse of office and sacking the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” the statement added.

Sending the signals of a readiness to confront the executive arm of government in battle, the Senate said:

“We must make it clear here to the individuals in the Executive arm and party leadership behind these plots not to mistake the maturity and hand of co-operation being extended to the Presidency by the legislature as a sign of weakness.”