I am ready to go to jail, says Saraki

Senator Shehu Sani (left); Senator Dino Meylaye; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ikweremadu and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the court… yesterday in Abuja PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Senator Shehu Sani (left); Senator Dino Meylaye; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ikweremadu and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the court… yesterday in Abuja PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Saraki, Ekweremadu deny forgery charges, granted bail

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, docked before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja over alleged forgery of Senate Standing Rules were yesterday granted bail.

Also facing trial with Saraki and Ekweremadu are the former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and the acting Clerk, Mr. Benedict Efeturi who were also granted bail.

The defendants were put on trial by the Federal Government on the allegation of forging the Senate Standing Rules used on June 9, 2015 to conduct the election that brought Saraki and Ekweremadu to office as principal officers of the Senate.

They pleaded not guilty to the charge, shortly after it was read to them, prompting their lawyers Mr. Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN) for Maikasuwa, Mahmud Magaji (SAN) for Efeturi, Paul Erokoro (SAN) for Saraki and Joseph Daudu (SAN) for Ekweremadu, to move application for their bail.

Meanwhile, piqued by his arraignment, Saraki has declared that a few persons had taken over executive powers from President Muhammadu Buhari and were exercising the same against the wishes of Nigerians and the rules of democracy.‎

Justice Yusuf Halilu, after taking arguments from the counsel, admitted all of them to bail with two sureties each who must be Nigerians, male or female and who must have landed properties either in Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse or Apo Legislative Quarters.

The judge in his ruling held that Section 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended presumes the defendants innocent of the charges against them and that it is normal and natural for them to be allowed on bail so as to prepare for their defence.

The judge, who took judicial notice of the positions of the defendants, said there was nothing by way of evidence to suggest that they would jump bail if allowed to go home. The judge, however, said that in the event of the defendants unable to meet up with the bail conditions, they should be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the time they will be able to do so.

Earlier, counsel to the Federal Government, who is also the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation (DPPF), Mr. Mohammed Diri, had told the court that he had no opposition to the bail of Saraki on the ground that he is the President of the Senate, so as not to cripple the activities of the Senate.

Diri, however, opposed the bail of Ekweremadu, Maikasuwa and Efeturi on the grounds that they are likely to evade trial, having allegedly evaded the service of the charge.

The prosecution told the court that if convicted, the three defendants were likely to be jailed for 14 years and that because of the gravity of the punishment, the court should be cautious in granting them bail.

Erokoro, while moving a bail application for Saraki, told the court that apart from the charge, Saraki’s name was never mentioned, either in the proof of evidence or in the police report, adding that he had not in any way been linked with the alleged offence of conspiracy and forgery.

Erokoro further argued that no attempt was made by the prosecution to serve Saraki with the charge in question as required by law and that Saraki had been standing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on other charges for almost a year and had never absented himself from the tribunal. He pleaded that Saraki be granted bail on self recognition or liberal terms because as the Senate President, he is too big to run away to anywhere to evade trial.

Daudu, who stood for Ekweremadu, urged the court to agree that the DPP has no objection to the other three defendants on the ground that they were charged with the same offence as Saraki.

Daudu told the court that he understood the political language of the DPP on Ekweremadu but that ‘what is good for the goose is also good for the gander’.

He also dismissed the insinuation by the prosecution that the three other defendants evaded service of charge, arguing that there was no affidavit of evidence to that effect before the court and that the insinuation should be regarded as mere speculation.

Other lawyers argued along with Daudu in their submissions for the bail of their clients.

According to a source who preferred anonymity, many prominent Nigerians brought title documents of their properties to stand as sureties for the Senate President. Besides, the retinue of security had a hectic day trying to control the crowd in and outside the court, who kept on surging forward in order to hear the proceeding. A large crowd outside the court premises chanted solidarity songs for Saraki and Ekweremadu.

Meanwhile, the court has adjourned the matter till July 11 for trial.

Saraki, ‎in a statement he personally signed and released to the media shortly after he was arraigned ‎along three others yesterday said that “what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who has seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.‎”

He also announced his readiness to be sent to prison for his stand in defence of democracy. Saraki said his trial was part of the continuous persecution by some persons in and outside government. He said: “‎This latest onslaught on the Legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve. The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.

“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. In the words of Martin Luther King Junior, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy’”.

The Senate president ‎”will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate.”
On his readiness to go to jail in defence of democracy, Saraki said: “This is a cross I am prepared to carry. If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent on undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal Government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest.” ‎

According to Saraki, the trial is an attempt to divert attention from the important issue of delivering good governance to the expectation of Nigerians who are in dire need of policies that will take them away from deepening economic hardship.”



65 Comments
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  • eyobaba

    Katakata don burst for Buhari, wait for act 1, scene 2, you will witness the defection of at least 10 apc Senators and that will be the beginning of the end of apc.

  • vic

    AND SO YOU WILL BECAUSE YOU ARE A THIEF, FRAUDSTER AND A SCUM BAG. NO NIGERIAN WILL MISS YOU.

    • Asuk

      Which court convicted him?

      • Femi

        Public opinion

        • Asuk

          Who conducted the public opinion poll. Has public opinion ever sent anyone to jail? Are aware that public opinion can be wrong most of the time? Perception is not truth, Waite for the truth .

  • MR.TWITTTER

    & GO U SHALL,AMEN!!!

    • Asuk

      Hatred.

  • Bobino

    Buhari is demonstrating high level of illiteracy. The executive arm of Govt has no right or authority to nose into what the legislature is doing. Amendment, forgery or otherwise of House standing rules is no obligation of FG to know. It is strictly NASS business and only the NASS itself can probe that. However, the wrong application of the rules could be a matter of the Judiciary to interpret; not changing of the rules. The earlier Buhari knows this, the better for his image. Though, the Court will certainly throw it out. No Judge will adjudicate this case in favour of FG. Those talking about FG, Saraki, Ike needs to have a clear understanding of separation of powers and not the myopic reasoning of the present illiterate President. He risks his head and the entire world will be behind the Senate for this. Anyway, I am not surprised because the President doesn’t even have valid secondary school certificate. So, he won’t understand what he is doing at the moment.

    • Dr. Jegede, Ajibade Ebenezer

      Oga bobino, for the mere fact that there exist a separation of power clause in the Nigeria’s constitution does not confer the fiat on the “house” to doctor any standing rule in order to favour some section of the house. Mind you, this alarm does not emanate from the FG but from a few aggrieved persons in the same senate who lost out during the Senate election by reason of the change orchestrated by those arraigned. If the senate president has concurred to go to prison why not? He knows within himself what he did to get there and likewise the penalty involved. Do we need to abuse the president on behalf a man that volunteered to go to prison? The senate president is already perspiring the cool atmosphere of the prison why do we need to debar him from been escorted there by Melaye his brother and other cohorts in the senate chamber?

      • Asuk

        Are you sure the rules were doctored? Why don’t you allow the courts to determine this?

      • MR.TWITTTER

        Accept my profound gratitude for taking ur tym to school out the ignorance in Bobino,he obviously has been bamboozled by the understanding of the phrase “Separation of powers”.Ok what do u call it when the Judiciary arraigns and tries the Executive?Or when the Legislature investigates & recommends penalties on the two other arms?Somebody had better stopped exhibiting his blatant ignorance in the public glare!

        • J.O. Adeniyi

          Mr. Writer, who is above the law? There is a process in changing any existing rule or law, if that process is not followed by some who want the system to favour them, the aggrieved will certain shout out aloud. That is what all is about. We may have divergent opinion on the issue, but the facts remain constant.

    • MR.TWITTTER

      U obviously have been bamboozled by the understanding of the phrase “Separation of powers”.Ok what do u call it when the Judiciary arraigns and tries the Executive?Or when the Legislature investigates & recommends penalties on the two other arms?u had better stopped exhibiting ur blatant ignorance in the public glare!!!

      • Bobino

        That is the Nigeria we find ourselves. Security agents using tax payers money against those same payers who labored for their sake.

    • Truetalk

      Who do you call the Federal Government? I don’t still understand when people try to separate the Legislative branch from the Federal government.

    • Truetalk

      You only know of separation of power, what about CHECKS and Balances? The various arms of government serve as a Check on the activities of others. You are here crying for a man who has admitted to go to jail even without been sentenced by the court. With all your university degrees, your idea shows you are worst than someone without a secondary school certificate

      • Gabriel

        Gbam!! please tell him

  • Thompson ‘Jeminiyi

    The All Progressive Congress ruling government may not successfully complete their one term tenure held bv president Muhammadu Buhari, if they allow unnecessary distractions by some of their aggrieved & self centered party members to ‘beat round the bush’ over what is bye gone.
    Mr President should decide now that things could still be control whether he is the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria or of that of APC Party.
    The senate standing rule has passed. Election held. Saraki & Ekweremadu were elected. Pres Buhari said then, that is ready to work with whosoever. So who are fuelling & relighting the fire that has been quenched?
    Let them focus on rebuilding the nation’s economy.

    • denero

      you are a special breed of idiot

      • Afovage

        Are you making contribution or you are fighting.

        • Ayinde

          What do u expect ofd a political thug ?

        • vic

          FIGHTING.

    • Femi

      So the question of whether there was forgery or not should not be answered? Hun?

      • John Paul

        Gbam !

        This is not a family affair. It is an outrage.

        The rules used to elect the principal members of our 8th Senate – the Senate standing order 2015 , was a fraudulent document. There was no such thing as Senate standing order 2015 when the current principal officers of our Senate were elected in June, 2015

        The legitimate Senate standing order – Senate Standing Order 2011 – which was used in the 7th senate, was never amended before the 7th Senate completed their business. This much has been admitted by a majority of the 7th Senate

        The argument being set forth by our oppressors, that the leadership of the senate can amend its rules at will, is not correct.

        Rule 110 of the legitimate Senate standing order – Senate standing order 2011 – clearly specifies the procedure that must be used to amend our Senate standing order, including the opportunity for all senators to be heard and a vote of 2/3 majority of senators.That was not done here.

        What happened is that some idiots brazenly produced a fake document, that was used to elect Saraki and Ekweremadu, by changing the rules of that election from open ballot of all senator elect to secret ballot and optional participation of Senators elect

        The Federal Republic of Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. We cannot tolerate a situation where public official graduate from violating our rules and laws into forgery of those same rules and laws, including the legitimate 2011 Standing order of our senate

        • J.O. Adeniyi

          Dear John Paul, thank you for that contribution to enlighten all what the situation really is, many do not know the details of the case but they do follow, follow in making noise. The Chief Law Officer of the Federation cannot just go to the Court without considering the case properly. Please give more details of the case if you have more facts about it. God bless you.

      • tbt

        He who goes equity must come with clean hand, Buhari should first of all explain about his forged WAEC certificate.

        • vic

          BUHARI IS A FOREX FRAUDSTER AND DOCUMENTS FORGER.

          THIS OLD MAN HAS COME JUST TO EARN HIS PENSION AND OTHER PRESIDENTIAL PERKS. BUHARI IS ANTI PEOPLE AND ANTI MASSES.

        • vic

          YES O!!!

    • Afovage

      Gbam ! ! !

    • Omoolowu

      Saraki e-rat.

    • Apostel

      Typical opinion of a primary school dropout

    • J.O. Adeniyi

      That is the mistake we often make in Nigeria, if this goes bye without check, worst will come later. Let us see the root of this as it will be decided by the court of Law, the out come will be a lesson for all and sundry. Bear in mind that a group of senators complained to the police not the President Buhari neither APC.

  • Oha El General

    APC will leave Nigeria in shambles… in their quest of absolute control of the Nigerian state, the APC is gradually turning Nigeria into a CHAOS we are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

    • Victor

      Nigeria is in chaos and you haven’t escaped to Syria.

    • J.O. Adeniyi

      Oha El General, what a name! PDP turned blind eyes for looters of our treasury for years, so you want APC to continue with that impunity, “e no possible, ko se se” as Fela’s song. Do you listen to new on TV and Radio? Do you read news papers? However, I am not surprised at your comment because you cannot see beyond your nose being blind folded by sentiments.

      • Gabriel

        Don’t mind Oha E1 Gen..he is one of the corruption fighting back

      • Oha El General

        … @ J.O ADENIYI, first of all I respect the way you talk without swearing or cursing me, it shows you are matured and that s why I’m responding to you…. unlike @MR.TWITTER…the fact is that during the alleged corrupt government of the PDP things were better, court orders were obeyed, food was affordable, electricity was not so good but better, security of lives and property was a bit better, the economy was tops and lives in general was fair… until the CHANGE mantra engulfed every space and we were all deceived. Now without corruption food is scarce, a bag of rice now sells for an arm and electricity is now sold for a LEG without the ppl even having to enjoy 10 minutes of light a day… security is in its lowest ebb, and Nigerians are plunged into the worst suffering ever recorded in our history. So I ask, where is the change the APC promised? is it a change from better to worse? where is the security they promised? where is the food and jobs? all we see is flagrant arrests, disobedient to legitimate court orders and poverty… I REST MY CASE

  • Ojiyovwi

    Yes, you should be behind bars and your assets confiscated by the state if you had indulged yourself at the expense of our people.

    • Afovage

      personal vendetta?

      • Ojiyovwi

        No, I don’t know the man at all. I have lived here In the UK for almost 40 years. I pains me to hear how our people get short-changed by these new breed of crooks whose only motivation into politics is self-aggrandisement. Lock up the rogues and throw away the key. Let them rot in Kiri Kiri prison where the main course is raw beans with beetle infestation and ‘good water’ just enough to keep them alive to continuously taste of suffering just as they had done to our people.

        • Monsuru Bello

          Agreed my brother, One of my distant friend , a lawyer and poet by training said federal government ought to have charged saraki and CO for treason instead of forgery. We will get there, at least other crooks will think twice before involving themselves in sharp practices. There is a new sheriff in town.

      • vic

        no!!!

  • Ojiyovwi

    I hope you get the due treatment for a crook. I never thought Buhari will be brave enough to confront the big thieves who fought their way into politics for self-benefit at the expense of our people. Shameless!!!!

  • Ojiyovwi

    Don’t get hoodwinked by the polished speeches and apparent intelligence. Her in the UK we have Oxford and Cambridge educated politicians who made and continue to make a handsome living out of corruption in ‘Brown Envelops’.

  • Ojiyovwi

    You can wear expensive Agbada and Asho-oke after you have successfully defrauded the treasury. Hang all the crooks who have inflicted so much deprivation on our people. Make a clear and unambiguous deterrent example of Sarakki. So, so disappointing!!!!

  • Abiodun Lawal

    Bobino, Pls i need to be educated more about this issue if it certain that the FG do not need to interfere about the NASS affairs, If that what u said is correct .FG should fold their arm and watching NASS assembly leader what suited them most and dump the NIigerians interest And tell me what is position of FG in NASS.

  • Abiodun Lawal

    BObino, To cut the story short the Man u are behind is even aware the penalty of his offence he and member commited And see happy mood on his face. Definitely he knows he cannot escape this .

  • NonPartisanElder

    Okay, if it is proven by the court that the Senate Rules and Orders that were employed in the proclamation and election of the leadership of the Senate in the 8th National Assembly were not forged, then the Attorney-General of the Federation (Mr. Malami) and the Head of the Federal Government (President Buhari) should resign or be impeached. On the other hand, if the court confirms that the accused persons actually committed the crime of aiding, abetting or effecting the forgery of the senate rules, then the accused persons should go directly and rot in jail. Only fools and dishonest ones will not say ‘Amen’!

  • Objectivity View

    So why has he been dodging trial by CCT. The charges before CCT alone are enough to jail him for life.

  • vic

    YES SARAKI BOY, YOU ARE READY FOR JAIL.

    WHY NOT, YOU EARNED IT!!!

  • yomiade

    The reward for fraudulent activities is going to jail. Saraki by saying is ready to go to jail, is indirect pleading of guilt. I wish him safe journey to jail.

    • vic

      SO DO I !!

  • ekunDAYO ADENIRAN

    …AND TO CROOKIE SARA-KILL, MAY YOUR ALL-GLOOM SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY COME TRUE! DON’T WEEP FOR HIS IMPERIAL DELINQUENCY, CROOKIE SARA-KILL! IT’S JUST THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLES!

  • Omoolowu

    And everybody said Amen.
    So shall it be.
    Amen

  • MammanJiyaVatsa

    Mr. Saraki,

    Jail is indeed where you belong, you`ll have to do time, i mean reasonable time & that of your late Dad for robbing Kwarans and Nigerians blind.

    Sooner or later, Gen. Buhari will send you to where you bleong…. just start packing your prison bag….

    Barawooo !

    • vic

      YES, HIS PRISON MATTRESS.

  • Apostel

    Objection Saraki, the correct spell is “YOU MUST GO TO JAIL” like any ordinary criminal.

  • omoagbala60

    We shall make the passage hitch-free.

  • Perrymarvis2014

    Jail is the normal place for light fingered people of his ilk. Weeping emotions and sentiments will take him no where. I know that sooner or later, justice will be served so that his vaulting ambition to occupy the lofty seat will be checkmated.

  • Hassan Olufunso Yusuf

    Good to hear that you are ready to go to jail – that’s where you belong!

  • vic

    AND WE ARE READY TO PUT YOU IN JAIL! SO WHY WASTE TIME??

  • vic

    SO, BE IT SARAKI!!! YOUR WISHES ARE GRANTED!

  • WALEDIPE

    When I read people’s submission on platforms like this, sometimes I wonder how Nigerians reasons. However, for some of you who does not actually live in Nigeria, I wish to inform you that Nigeria politics is more dirtier than you can imagine,Saraki and co are no saints hence nobody is free of corruption including Buhari, i will briefly mention some things here…. Lets begin with the latest one, forgery of Senate Order, nothing was forged, if 65% of the Senate include all the principal officers assembled and read the letter written by President Buhari declaring opened the 8th Senate, and then some members were absent while all other things were done accordingly then what was forged? Because some members were absent does not made whatever done to be illegal…Its like saying someone forged his own signature is that not funny.

    Secondly, Saraki might be corrupt like every other governor during his time,hence if he had not become the Senate president against their wish he would not have been corrupt, why is he the only APC man under prosecution now, there were hundreds of petitions against Rotimi Amechi from Rivers, Fayemi from Ekiti, and Fashola from Lagos but up till now EFCC does not see any reason to invite and investigate it was only stuborn Saraki and PDP members that were corrupt.

    Thirdly, Saraki lead 5 state governors to APC against Jonathan and I can say equivocally these guys drop substantial amount of money to fund the presidential election, for instance if a single person could drop huge amount of money and the party accepted it without asking questions how come the party and its leadership were not corrupt I think the buyer of a stolen good is also a thief so Buhari can not be exonerated from this. I read that Saraki stole Kwara money to repay credit card loan if the news emanating from the CCT court room is anything to go by, yes thank God EFCC established it in their witness that he was sending the money to his credit card company and I believe that credit card company does not operate a savings account so what he borrowed for them to fight Jonathan must be return since they took his money without asking where he got it from.

    The question is this, is Buhari the president of Nigeria or president of APC??

    Uptill till the end of Obasanjo tenure as he handed over power to Yaradua the price of crude oil was $15 today its between during the reign of Buhari $35 -$49 hence the APC lead government still can not afford to do anything and many Nigerians can not spot this, I personally campaigned for Buhari not because I think he would perform but because he was the only alternative, so one thing is clear if Jonathan could be voted out of power despite the blessings of the pastors and the ancestors that means anybody can be voted out including Buhari, my submission is to repeat what I have earlier said Nigeria politics is dirty than what people will sit back in Europe and the USA to write about, if we did not begin to be objective all of these crooks will continue to make fool of us, Buhari is not better than any of them ,they are all crooks ,hence lets wait and see how further events unfold…..

  • Stanley

    PDP has collapsed. APC is on the match to collapse. Only one year remain before politicking starts for 2019. Will the APC survive its internal wranglings to fight as one party? Nigeria is widely divided along ethnic, religious and political bearings. Is Nigeria going the way of Sudan, Libya and Syria?

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