Buhari, Saraki Discuss National Issues

Bukola Saraki and Muhammadu Buhari meetPresident Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday met behind closed-door to discuss national issues.

After the meeting, Dr. Saraki told reporters that there was no crisis in the Senate over the removal of Senator Ali Ndume as Leader of the upper chamber.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Senate in a letter to the Senate President on Tuesday announced the replacement of Senator Ndume with Senator Ahmed Lawan.

He said the institution was bigger than every Senator.

“There is no crisis in the National Assembly. Things like this aways happen. Everything is calm and fine,” he said.

Asked to react to comments in some quarters that Senator Ndume was sacrificed, he laughed and said: “do I look like someone that does things like that?”

On the purpose of his visit to the villa, Dr. Saraki said he held talks with the president to get the government going especially on the issues of budget.

“It is okay to always consult on national issues about getting the government going and the National Assembly moving.

“As you know, there is nothing as important for us now than the budget process and work we need to do on those areas,” the head of the National Assembly told reporters.

The meeting is coming a day after the National Assembly resumed plenary afer the yuletide break.

In the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, told the lawmakers that a critical area to focus on in 2017 was the nation’s economy which is in recession.

The lawmaker said: “as 2017 rolls by, we should expect great challenges once again but with renewed determination and faith that things shall surely get better with God on our side”.

He called the attention of the House to what he called the most critical and urgent task before them, saying “it is the pending 2017 Appropriation Bill”.

Saraki Loses Appeal Against CCT Trial

Saraki, CCT,The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has again failed in his attempt to stop his trial by the Code Of Conduct Tribunal.

Delivering judgment on the appeal filed by the Senate President, Justice Abdul Aboki affirmed that the CCT has jurisdiction to try the case.

The five-man panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, agreed that the tribunal erred in discharging former Lagos Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu but the tribunal has since corrected itself in subsequent judgement.

On the claim that a quorum was not formed before he was charged, the court resolved the issue against the Senate President.

Justice Aboki resolved that three men at the Code of Conduct Bureau can adjudicate any matter.

All the four other members of the panel unanimously agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Aboki‎.

Meanwhile, the trial of the Senate President continues at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where he is facing a 16-count charge of corruption and false assets declaration.

The CCT had earlier struck out an application filed by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, against the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar.

Senator Saraki had accused Mr Umar of bias and asked him to disqualify himself from hearing the case on alleged abuse of office and non-declaration of asset levelled against the Senate President.

With Thursday’s ruling, the CCT will resume Saraki’s trial on November 7 and 8.

The trial had been stalled due to the annual court vacation and the deployment of technicalities by the defence counsels.

Alleged Senate Rules Forgery: Saraki, Others’ Trial Stalled

trial, senate president, deputyThe trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki , his deputy, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu and two others, has yet again been stalled.

This follows the Federal Government’s failure to commence trial on the two counts of forgery proffered against them.

At the resumed hearing before the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, counsel to the Federal Government, Aliyu Umar told Justice Yusuf Halilu that he was not prepared to proceed with the trial.

According to him, a motion dated September 26, questioning the jurisdiction of the court, had just been served on him and he would need time to adequately respond.

Mr Umar, who led the Federal Government’s Legal Team, informed the court that the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation did not hand him any other motion related to the case.

But Justice Halilu pointed out to him that similar motions had been pending since June 22.

The Federal Government’s counsel consequently applied for an adjournment to enable him put his house in order and also to better prepare his reaction to the motion filed by all the defendants.

Senator Saraki and Senator Ekweremadu had pleaded not guilty to charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

The two Senate leaders had been arraigned before the Federal High Court along with a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.

All four accused persons pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.

The Court consequently granted bail to the accused persons.

Justice Halilu asked the them to produce two reasonable sureties who must be Nigerian men or women.

He stated that the sureties must own properties in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse II or Garki areas in the Federal Capital Territory.