‘No Matter Who I Choose, Christians In Southern Kaduna Will Never Vote For Me’ – El-Rufai

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that regardless of who he chooses as his deputy, the Christians in Southern Kaduna will still not vote him as governor in the coming polls. 

El-Rufai stated this on Channel’s Television’s Sunrise Daily while reacting to questions about his choice of a Muslim as his running mate for the next gubernatorial election in Kaduna.

The governor said, “What if I tell you that no matter who I choose as my running mate, even if I choose the Pope, 67 per cent of the Christians in Southern Kaduna have made up their minds that they will never vote for me”.

According to El-Rufai, his choice of Hadiza Balarabe as a running mate is politically motivated.

He said, “I am a politician, so everything I do is politically motivated”.

El-Rufai said he has chosen anyone based on ethnic or religious bias, urging Nigerians to go beyond these prejudices in the best interest of the nation.

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The governor went on to say that for him, the issue is that Kaduna state is divided and needs to be united and the only way to this is to take “religion and ethnicity off the table”.

El-Rufai also reacted to the case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Speaking on polity in Kaduna and Nigeria as a whole, El-Rufai said it is time Nigerian leaders and people are reflective in decisions, rather than operate on ethnic or religious biases.

In the case of Onnoghen, the Kaduna state governor said the position taken by governors of the South-south is disheartening.

He said, “One of the most painful things I have experienced in the last two weeks, was the statement by the governors of the South-south, justifying that non-declaration of assets is nothing, is a non-issue because the Chief Justice of Nigeria is from the South-South”.

The governor argued that “wrong is wrong and right should be right”, and as such, leaders should advise that we can’t do it all the time, sometimes it’s not black and white, it’s a bit of grey, but we must stand for something that is right”.

Reps Open Investigation Into DSS Arrest Of Judges

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Wednesday appeared before a House of Representative committee to brief it on the raid and arrest of some judges by operatives of the Department of State Services.

Responding to questions on the issue, the Chairman of the CCB said the State Security Service (SSS) had the power to arrest, investigate and prosecute corruption cases in Nigeria.

He told the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the arrest of the judges that the operatives were right in arresting the judges on allegation of misconduct and corruption.

The Attorney General of Rivers States, Emmanuel Aguma, who was also at the briefing, however, insisted that the actions of the SSS contravenes the laws of Nigeria

Officials of the State Security Service, had on Saturday, October 8, 2016 raided the homes of some judge and subsequently arrested some of them. After their arrests the security agency said they were fingered for misconduct and corrupt practices.

Only a few of those invited were at the event. the only judge present made a very brief speech while addressing the committee led by Honourable Garba Muhammad.

The hearing, however, got heated when it was the turn of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr Sam Saba.

After nerves were calmed, the committee told the gathering that it had received written statements from some of the judges involved in the matter and that it is expecting that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation will appear before the committee in the course of its sitting.

One of the judges is already facing trial over allegations of corruption.

He has denied the claims, pleading not guilty in court.

SERAP Condemns Senate’s Amendment Of CCB Act

SERAP, Buhari, Judges releaseHuman rights group, the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has questioned the rationale behind the amendment of the act establishing the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal by the Senate.

The upper legislative chamber on Thursday altered the law, transferring the controlling power over the CCB and CCT to the legislature, away from the President.

But in a statement, SERAP condemned the action, which it insists does not serve the interest of Nigerians but that of the lawmakers.

The statement adds: “This is in fact a blatant case of conflict of interest and betrayal of trust. The clear victims of this betrayal of trust are the economically and socially vulnerable sectors of the population who have been terribly let down by their own lawmakers.”

The group called on Nigerians to reject the move and pledged to work with other members of the civil society to vigorously fight what it describes as a perversion of the rule of law.

The Nigerian Senate took a bold step on Thursday by passing the Code of Conduct amendment bill, 2016.

The amendment included altering the tenure of office of the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Also amended was the tenure of the chairman and members from serving until they are 70, to a term of five years.

The exercise follows months of discussions in the Senate, regarding the need to amend the bill.

It also comes months after the trial of Senate President Bukola for false asset declaration, commenced at the Code Of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on the same day failed in his attempt to stop his trial by the Code Of Conduct Tribunal as the Court of Appeal affirmed that the CCT has jurisdiction to try the case.

Senate Finally Amends Code Of Conduct Bill

senate, CCTThe Nigerian Senate took a bold step on Thursday by finally passing the Code of Conduct amendment bill, 2016.

The amendment included altering the tenure of office of the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Also amended was the tenure of the chairman and members from serving until they are 70, to a term of five years.

The exercise follows months of discussions in the Senate, regarding the need to amend the bill.

It also comes months after the trial of Senate President Bukola for false asset declaration, commenced at the Code Of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Saraki had criticised the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which filed the charges against him, for not inviting him for questioning, on the charges before it filed them.

Although, the actual amendments to the act were done by the House Of Representatives and passed on May 31, the Senate concurred with the House and passed the bill on October 27.

Early in the year, the upper legislative chamber had sought to amend the act, but a public outcry forced it to shelve it; although a similar bill has been reintroduced.

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Thursday failed in his attempt to stop his trial by the Code Of Conduct Tribunal as the Court of Appeal affirmed that the CCT has jurisdiction to try the case.

Lagos High Court Dismisses Saraki’s Application

Bukola-Saraki-Appeals-CCT-trialThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has struck out a fundamental human rights application filed by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, seeking to stop his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja.

Presiding Justice Ibrahim Buba held that his court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the application.

The Senate President had sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, the EFCC, ICPC, the Inspector-General of Police and the Code of Conduct Bureau.

In the suit, Senator Saraki asked the court to declare that his arraignment and trial before the CCT fall short of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right and Section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution which guarantees his right to fair hearing and personal liberty.

He also asked the court to nullify the charges of false assets declaration pending against him.

The Senate President also wanted the court to restrain the respondents from inviting, arresting or prosecuting him on the basis of any allegation arising from his tenure as Governor of Kwara State from 2003 -2011.to

The court said that the issues could  not be resolved in Lagos and struck out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

Lawyers Withdraw From CCT Trial

On Thursday, all lawyers representing the Senate President on charges leveled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) withdrew from the case.

Their withdrawal followed the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to continue trial, a decision, which the lawyers described as “judicial rascality”.

The Tribunal had based its ruling on the strength of Section 305 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act which says that ‘a trial can be concluded and ruling reserved until all questions about the trial are answered’.

Dr. Saraki then asked for a month to reconstitute his defence but lawyer to the Federal Government kicked against it saying that it was another way for the Senate President to “get what he wants”.

The Tribunal, however, ruled that it would give the Senate President one week to reconstitute his legal team.

The CCT has adjourned till November 19.

Supreme Court Appeal

The decision of the High Court in Lagos on Friday came three days after Dr Saraki filed an appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which on October 30 affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him on 13 counts of false assets declaration.

Senator Saraki also filed an application for stay of proceedings urging the Supreme Court to halt the proceedings of the Code of conduct Tribunal to try him for the alleged offences pending when his appeal would be determined.

Saraki’s Lawyers Withdraw From CCT Trial

saraki

All lawyers representing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on charges leveled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) have withdrawn from the case.

Their withdrawal follows the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to continue trial, a decision which the lawyers describe as “judicial rascality”.

The Tribunal had based its ruling on the strength of Section 305 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act which says that a trial can be concluded and ruling reserved until all questions about the trial are answered.

Dr. Saraki then asked for a month to reconstitute his defence but lawyer to the federal government kicked against it saying that it was another way for the Senate President to “get what he wants”.

The tribunal, however, ruled that it would give the Senate President one week to reconstitute his legal team.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned till November 19.

Earlier, counsel to the government , Mr Rotimi Jacobs, had notified the tribunal that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had in a judgment it delivered on October 30, dismissed Dr. Saraki’s appeal against his trial.

However, the Senate President through his lawyer, Mr. Mahmud Magaji (SAN), urged the tribunal to adjourn the trial and await the decision of the appeal he has lodged before the Supreme C‎ourt.

The Senate President had appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which on October 30 affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him on 13 counts of false assets declaration.

Senator Saraki also filed an application for stay of proceedings urging the Supreme Court to halt the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him for the alleged offences pending when his appeal would be determined.

The Senate President raised seven grounds of appeal in his notice of appeal filed on Tuesday and attached to the application for stay of proceedings.

Dr Saraki urged the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the entire proceedings of the CCT and the charges preferred against him before the Tribunal.

Mr. Saraki was arraigned September 18, but pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail.

13-Count Corruption Charge: We Will Meet In Court, Saraki Tells CCB

Bukola-Saraki-Nigeria-Senate-PresidentThe Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday denied the 13-count corruption charge leveled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Mr Saraki, in a statement via his media office, described the 13-count charge slammed on him by the Code of Conduct Bureau as false and frivolous, adding that those “behind this plot will definitely meet Dr. Saraki in court as this case, which is based on outright fabrication and mischief, will not and cannot stand the test of justice”.

In charge number ABT/01/15, dated September 11 and filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Saraki is accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state.

He said the charges were calculated to rubbish him and that he was ready to meet the Code of Conduct Bureau in court to assert his innocence, insisting that he has consistently declared his assets as required by law at every point before resuming any political office and that of 2015 is not an exception.

Below is Mr. Saraki’s full statement.

The attention of Dr. Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, has been drawn to a charge sheet being widely circulated on the online media, upon which he is expected to be tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

It should be noted that at the time of writing this statement (10.00am on September 16, 2015), Dr. Saraki has not been served the court process. However, we recognise that as a public officer, he owes members of the public explanation on the allegations contained in the charge sheet.

We therefore state as follows:
1. That all the claims contained in the charge sheet are false, incorrect and untrue.

2. That Dr. Saraki has consistently declared his assets as required by law at every point before resuming any political office and that of 2015 is not an exception. It is surprising that the alleged charges is now referring his asset declaration made in 2003 while in office as Governor of Kwara State to formulate their charges. They therefore ignored the recent declaration for which they last week issued an acknowledgement.

3. That we believe that the Code of Conduct Bureau following their processes in which after a declaration is submitted to the bureau they carried out verification of the assets and ascertained the claims made, should not wait till 12 years later to be pointing out an alleged inconsistencies in a document submitted to it in 2003. This same Dr. Saraki submitted asset declaration form in 2007, 2011 and 2015. It is unexplainable that the case in question is now based on the 2003 declaration.

4. This is why we are of the opinion that present effort is a desperate move initiated due to external influence and interference.

5. It should also be noted that contrary to the procedure indicated in the law setting up the CCB, the bureau never wrote to Dr. Saraki to complain of any inconsistency in his asset declaration forms.

6. It should also be noted that Dr. Saraki as Governor of Kwara State never operated a foreign account.

7. That some of the issues contained in the charge sheet are subjects of earlier decided and on-going Court cases. We therefore believe those behind filing of these charges are engaging in forum-shopping.

8. It should be noted that we do not know on whose authority these charges are filed when the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act clearly indicate that any prosecution must be authorised by an Attorney General and we know the nation last had an AG in May 2015. This is another clear indication that the CCT is acting under influence from outside its domain and therefore ready to bend the rules to achieve this obnoxious objective

9. We therefore conclude that this is not an anti corruption driven case and cannot be part of the moves aimed at fighting corruption. It is simply a pure malicious and politically motivated prosecution aimed at undermining the person and office of the Senate President.

10. That those behind this plot will definitely meet Dr. Saraki in court as this case which is based on outright fabrication and mischief will not and cannot stand the test of justice.

11. It should be noted that throughout his career as a public official democratically elected to high public service, Dr Saraki has always held himself, to global standards of transparency and accountability, to a far higher standard of diligence, disclosure, and compliance, than required or even requested by Nigeria’s Code Of Conduct protocols. Thus, Dr Saraki has always, lawfully and accountably, declared his assets, both directly owned, and in which he may derive any historical and on-going degree of beneficial interest.

12. In view of the above, Senator Saraki hereby affirms his belief in the justice system and that when the proposed case comes to the tribunal, he will diligently state his case. He is also ready to co-operate with the Tribunal and other lawful government agencies in the bid to genuinely fight corruption and eliminate impunity in our public affairs.

13. We also note that anytime you try to fight corruption or insist that the right thing should be done, the system will always come after you. This is another case of desperation to fight Dr. Saraki because of his recent stance on national issues.

The Code of Conduct Bureau had slammed a 13-count charge of corruption on the former Kwara State governor.

Buhari, Osinbajo Declare Assets

Muhammadu-Buhari-and-Yemi-osinbajoNigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, have declared their assets.

A statement by the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu said “the documents submitted to the CCB, which officials say are still being vetted and will soon be made public, show that prior to being sworn in on May 29, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank. President Buhari had no foreign account, no factory and no enterprises. He also had no registered company and no oil wells”, the statement said.

The statement further added that “the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about N94 million and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts”.

It added that President Buhari “had shares in Berger Paints, Union Bank and Skye Bank”.

The documents also revealed that “President Buhari had a total of five homes, and two mud houses in Daura. He had two homes in Kaduna, one each in Kano, Daura and in Abuja. One of the mud houses in Daura was inherited from his late older sister, another from his late father. He borrowed money from the old Barclays Bank to build two of his homes.

“President Buhari also has two undeveloped plots of land, one in Kano and the other in Port Harcourt. He is still trying to trace the location of the Port Harcourt land.

“In addition to the homes in Daura, he has farms, an orchard and a ranch. The total number of his holdings in the farm include 270 heads of cattle, 25 sheep, five horses, a variety of birds and a number of economic trees”.

The documents also showed that the retired General “uses a number of cars, two of which he bought from his savings and the others supplied to him by the Federal Government in his capacity as former Head of State. The rest were donated to him by well-wishers after his jeep was damaged in a Boko Haram bomb attack on his convoy in July 2014″.

The same forms, according to Mr Shehu, notes that ” Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s asset declaration includes his 4-bedroom residence at Victoria Garden City, Lagos and a 3-bedroom flat at 2 Mosley Road, Ikoyi. The Vice President also has a 2-bedroom flat at the popular Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and a 2-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, England.

“Apart from his law firm, known as SimmonsCooper, the Vice-President also declared shareholding in six private companies based in Lagos, including Octogenerium Ltd., Windsor Grant Ltd., Tarapolsa, Vistorion Ltd., Aviva Ltd. and MTN Nigeria.

“His personal vehicles are one Infinity 4-Wheel Drive SUV, one Mercedes Benz and a Prado Jeep.

“As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves,” Mr Shehu said.

Code Of Conduct Bureau Urges Sacked Ministers To Declare Assets

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has called on ministers who were sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan to declare their assets.

A statement by Head, Press and Protocol Unit of CCB, Mrs Iyabo Akinwale, in Abuja, said the directive was in accordance with Paragraph 11 of the 5th Schedule, Part One of the 1999 Constitution.

The statement said the schedule provided that “every public officer shall within three months after coming into force of this bureau or immediately after taking office and at the end of every four years, submit to it a written declaration of all properties, assets and liabilities”.

The statement, therefore, urged the ministers who were “yet to declare their assets to do so”.

Meanwhile, the statement said the CCB was organising a sensitisation workshop for public officers in NAFDAC in line with the mandate of the bureau.

Four Nigerian ministers, including the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, were sacked by the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday last week.

Other ministers are Minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade and Minister of State For Finance, Yerima Ngama.