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saraki: senators in emergency meeting

No fewer than 50 senators yesterday met in Abuja concerning  the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT’s)  invitation  to  Senate President Bukola Saraki  for trial over…

No fewer than 50 senators yesterday met in Abuja concerning  the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT’s)  invitation  to  Senate President Bukola Saraki  for trial over alleged improper declaration of assets between 2003 and 2011.
At the weekend, the CCT, presided over by Justice Danladi Umar, issued an order to the Inspector General of Police, Mr  Solomon Arase, and other security agencies to arrest the Senate President for failure to appear before the tribunal last Friday. They were asked to  produce him on Monday to face the trial. There is a 13-count criminal charge raised against Saraki by the Federal Government over  an alleged false declaration of assets Continued from Page 1

On his part, the Senate President rushed to the Court of Appeal in Abuja on that same day, seeking the stay of execution of the tribunal’s order.
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the senators who attended the emergency meeting held in a private office near the popular Next Supermarket, cut across party lines – the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties represented in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly. The meeting, which started at 11.00am ended at 3.00pm with some senators who were not in the country participating through telephone.
The Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that some senators who were on holidays in the US, UK and those who are performing the on-going Hajj exercise in Saudi Arabia participated in the meeting through telephone.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah,  pledged to support the anti-graft war of President Buhari, but accused ‘a cabal’ in The Presidency of instigating the government institutions against Senate President Saraki.
Daily Trust on Sunday learnt that Senator Saraki was not part of the meeting, but participants resolved to use all necessary channels to correct the anomaly.
Speaking on the development, one of the senators who attended the meeting said they initially  suspected President Buhari to be the brain behind the trials, but after exhaustive deliberations they had a second thought on the issue.
 “Our colleagues were angry at the beginning of the meeting because they were initially suspecting that the President has hand in the trial of Saraki. But after heated debate, they understood that Buhari was not responsible for it.
“One of our colleagues present at the meeting suggested that the Senate should reconvene on Monday [tomorrow] in order to address the challenge. His suggestion, however, did not see the light of day as we resolved to use other channels to address the challenge.”
In a telephone interview, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah said they had unanimously resolved to work with Buhari to achieve his programmes and policies.
“We have resolved to use all available powers under the constitution to ensure that no cabal exists and run the government on behalf of Buhari and we have also resolved to deal decisively with the cabal,” he said.
Some of the senators who attended the meeting included Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East), Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), Senator Binta Garba Masi (APC, Adamawa North), and Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South).
Others were Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), Senator Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi Central), and Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo-West).
 Meanwhile, a political group from Saraki’s home, Maja Elders Forum yesterday canvassed for the prompt intervention of President Buhari in the senate president’s ordeal.
The group, in a statement signed by its coordinator, Alhaji Kayode Yusuf, said  that Saraki was being witchhunted following his emergence as the Senate President few months ago which should not continue in the interest of peace in the polity.
The group said, “we are taken aback by the recent developments in the nation’s political circle where Saraki seems to be the only politician that should be investigated by the anti-graft agencies in Nigeria. We are not opposed to anti-corruption crusades of President Buhari but what we don’t understand is, why should the searchlight be beamed only on our leader to the exclusion of others?
“We want Mr President to use his good offices to call the operators of these anti- graft bodies to order in the interest of peace. We should not bring down the shining light in Nigerian politics just because someone does not want to see his face. President Buhari should not keep mute on Saraki’s unjust persecution,” the group stated.
Efforts by the Daily Trust on Sunday to get the police to speak on the issue did not yield result as all phone calls and text messages by our correspondent to the Force Public Relations Officer, Mrs Olabisi Kolawole, were not answered.
The Court of Appeal will tomorrow hear the ex-parte motion brought by the embattled senate president concerning the order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to have him arrested and brought for trial.

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