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.

Impeachment Threat On President Buhari, A Huge Joke – APC

APC, ImpeachmentThe National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has dismissed the purported plan by some senators to impeach President Buhari, describing it as “a huge joke”.

In a press statement by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, the APC said, “This is a huge joke taken too far.”

The party advised the senators in question to “stop the ‘huge joke’ and concentrate on their primary constitutional responsibilities of lawmaking and discharging of their legislative mandates to their constituents at the National Assembly”, urging them not to allow political shenanigans becloud overall national interest.

“The Party will not to join issues on the Senate forgery suit and other court cases concerning some members of the 8th Senate because it will be sub judice.

“We advice the Senators in question to tow the same line and allow judicial processes run it normal and legitimate course.

“Repeated allegations that the court cases are politically-motivated by the President and the APC are baseless.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration strictly respects the principle of the Rule of Law and also adheres to the constitutional provisions of Separation of Power between the three arms of government,” the APC stated.

The party urged President Buhari and the entire cabinet to remain focused in its effort to deliver on election promises and to steer the nation to its deserved heights.

There had been media reports of an impeachment plot by some Senators on President Muhammadu Buhari during a closed session of the Senate on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

Senate Threatens To Issue Warrant Of Arrest On AGF

Senate, Abubakar Malami, AGFThe Nigerian Senate has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami.

The threat is coming weeks after the Senate summoned the Minister to explain the rationale behind his action on charging its principal officers to court over forgery.

Mr Malami shunned the call to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights. Although he sent a representative, the Committee refused to grant him audience.

The lawmakers condemned the Minister’s refusal to honour their invitation.

They said that the same rules of the Senate was used in the administration of its proceedings during the ministerial confirmation process which brought the AGF to office, as well as other top government officials.

Pleaded Not Guilty

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, were arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal High Court along with a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.Bukola-Saraki-Ike-Ekweremadu

All four accused persons, who were charged for alleged forgery of the Nigerian Senate Standing Rules, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.

Justice Halilu subsequently granted them bail and adjourned the proceedings till July 11 for commencement of trial.

Although they were present in court on Monday for the commencement of hearing, the Court Registrar informed the parties that the court was on vacation, hence the case would be adjourned.

Violation Of Separation Of Powers

In his reaction, Senator Saraki described the action by the AGF as misguided and alleged that there now exists a government within the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who “have seized the apparatus of executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda“.

He reiterated his innocence and that of Senator Ekweremadu of the charges, claiming that the charges represent a violation of the principle of the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

The Spokesman of the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, also noted that contrary to the claim by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, neither Dr. Saraki nor Senator Ekweremadu were mentioned by the petitioners, the statements by those interviewed by the Police or even the Police report.

He stated that as regards the facts of the 1999 case, it was obvious that the Senate President and his deputy were not being accused of certificate forgery as it happened in former Speaker Salisu Buhari’s case.

Saraki Alleges Persecution, FG Debunks Claims Says It Is ‘Mere Obfuscation’

Bukola-Saraki-Muhammadu-BuhariThe Presidency has dismissed the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki’s claim of having a government within a government that has seized the apparatus of the executive power as pretentious and imaginary.

The Presidency asked him to back his claim with more information by identifying those who constitute the government within the government.

As far as the Federal Government is concerned the Attorney General is the chief law officer of the state and it is within his constitutional power to determine who has infringed upon the law and who has not.

The Senate President had earlier reacted to his arraignment alongside his deputy at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over alleged forgery of Senate standing rules.

Senator Bukola Saraki in a statement reiterated his innocence and that of his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the charges filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Senate President claimed that the charges represent a violation of the principle of the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

But according to the President’s media adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, “Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed a criminal act has been committed, we leave the court to judge.”

Full Statement

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, claims there is “now a government within the government of President Buhari”, which has allegedly seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue a nefarious agenda.

This claim by Senator Saraki would have been more worth the while, if it had been backed with more information. If he had proceeded to identify those who constitute the “government within the government,” it would have taken the issue beyond the realm of fiction and mere conjecture.

But as it stands, the allegation is not even worth the paper on which it was written, as anybody can wake from a troubled sleep, and say anything.

The Attorney-General of the Federation is the Chief Law Officer of the state.  It is within his constitutional powers to determine who has infringed upon the law, and who has not.

Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed, a criminal act has been committed.  But we leave the courts to judge.

To claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is anybody’s stooge is not only ridiculous, but also preposterous. It is not in the character of our President.

Alleged Senate Rules Forgery: Saraki Says Arraignment Is Misguided

Saraki, forgery,The Senate President has been reacting to his arraignment alongside his deputy at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over alleged forgery of Senate standing rules.

In a statement personally signed by him, Senator Bukola Saraki reiterated his innocence and that of his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the charges filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Senate President claims that the charges represent a violation of the principle of the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

Senator Saraki describes the action by the Attorney General as misguided, and alleges that there now exists a government within the government of President Muhammadu Buhari who in his words “have seized the apparatus of executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.”

He added, “If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent on undermining our democracy and destabilizing 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.”

Presidency Reacts

Meanwhile, the Presidency in a quick response, dismissed Dr Saraki’s claim of having a government within a government that has seized the apparatus of the executive power as pretentious and imaginary.

The Presidency challenged him to back his claim with more information by identifying those who constitute the government within the government.

As far as the federal government is concerned the Attorney General is the chief law officer of the state and it is within his constitutional power to determine who has infringed upon the law and who has not.

According to the President’s media adviser Mr Femi Adesina, “Pretending to carry an imaginary cross is mere obfuscation, if, indeed a criminal act has been committed, we leave the court to judge.”

Alleged Senate Rules Forgery: Court Grants Saraki, Others Bail

Bukola Saraki, Senate, Ike EkweremaduA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the fourth defendant over charges of alleged forgery of the Nigerian Senate Standing Rules.

The decision was made on Monday when they appeared before the court.

The court asked the accused to produce two reasonable sureties who must be Nigerian men or women.

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

The trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, said that the accused would be remanded in Kuje Prison, if they fail to meet the bail conditions.

The court has adjourned the proceedings till July 11 for commencement of trial.

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

Earlier, after the counsels to the accused had announced their appearances and told the court that they had filed bail applications, the trial judge asked them to put them forward.

Presenting a bail application, the lawyer to the first accused person, Mr Maikasuwa, said that the application was supported by a written address which formed his argument in the application and a two-paragraph affidavit sworn to by the accused person.

He argued that the accused person would not interfere with investigation, insisting that there were no facts to back the claim that he would jump bail.

Mr Maikasuwa’s counsel also reminded the court that the prosecution had said in his affidavit before the court that investigations had been concluded.

The counsel to Mr Efeturi also brought forward a six-paragraph affidavit and urged the court to grant the accused bail.

He also said he had filed a written address, requesting that the court should grant bail in the most liberal terms.

On his part, the counsel to the Senate President, Mr Paul Erukoro, said his application was supported by a 28-paragraph affidavit.

He also said he had a further affidavit sworn by the 3rd accused person.

“The entire proof of service does not contain a single reference to the Senate President in connection with the charges. He was never invited during investigation. So, saying he will interfere with the investigation is unfounded especially as the prosecuting says investigations have been concluded.

“It is a notorious fact that the Senate President has been standing trial at the CCT (Code of Conduct Tribunal) and has been consistent in his attendance there, so there is no way he will not attend the trial,” he told the court.

He also pointed out that Senator Saraki is the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that there was no way he would jump bail.

He requested that bail should be granted on self-recognisance.

Counsel to the deputy Senate President, Mr Jacobs Daudu, also said his client was not mentioned anywhere in the proof of evidence and that he should be granted bail on self-recognisance.

He stressed that the spirit of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) was that bail would be such that the accused persons could be able to attend trial.

The counsel to the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly said he had also submitted a six-paragraph affidavit, urging the court to grant his client bail.

He also told the court that he had filed a written address, urging the court to grant bail in the most liberal terms.

The accused persons claimed that they were ready for the trial. They asked the court to start the hearing and take as many as they could of the prosecution witness.

On his part, the prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Diri, however, said he would not oppose the bail of the Senate President on whatever terms the court deemed fit, because he is the number three citizen, and opposing bail may disrupt the business of the Senate.

He, however, said that in respect of the other three accused – one, two and four – the prosecution would vehemently oppose bail.

According to him, the two-count charge brought against the three defendants was very serious, something that required caution in handling of bails.

The charge attracts a 14-year jail term.

He also said that the three defendant’s evaded service of processes until the court granted an order of substituted service.

“This means that if they are granted bail the three defendant’s will attempt to evade trial,” he stressed.

He further referred to section 162 subsection of the Administration Of Criminal Justice Act and told the court that the charges were the same for all the accused persons, but stated that he understood the political undertone of omitting the Senate President.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

After listening to both parties, the judge stated that he had considered the applications and counter affidavits, soldering on the written addresses.

He told the court that the essence of bail was to ensure the “liberty of an accused person who is considered innocent until proven guilty and ensure his attendance to trial”.

“The decision to grant bail is at the discretion of the court which should be granted judicially and judiciously, following laid down constitution in respect of the nature of offence.

“Indeed I have considered and soldered the applications and counters filed.

“The provisions of the ACJA lends support that an accused person shall be granted bail to enable him attend trial.

“I have listened to the position of the prosecution on the third defendant – Senator Saraki – and it is only fair and natural that an accused person, who is contoured innocent, shall be given opportunity to prepare for their trial.

“I shall not unnecessarily over flog the position they occupy,” he said, once again listing their positions at the National Assembly.

Justice Halilu further stressed that the applications for bail conditions sideline the arguments of their lawyers for all the defendants regardless of the swaying positions of the prosecution.

“I shall allow the one, two and four accused to go home on bail on the conditions that two reasonable sureties who must be Nigerians – men or women – who must own properties in Asokoro Maitama Wuse two or Garki.

“Failure to fulfil the bail conditions, they shall be remanded in Kuje Prison,” he stressed.

The judge then adjourned the proceedings till July 11 for commencement of trial.

Senate Chief Whip Confirms Alleged Senate Rules Forgery

Olusola-Adeyeye-Senate-Bukola-SarakiThe Nigerian Senate Chief Whip, Professor Olusola Adeyeye, has confirmed that the Senate Standing Rules have been altered.

Professor Adeyeye told Channels Television on Sunday that the court would have to determine whether it was forged or not.

“In the 7th Assembly, voting has to be done publicly (but) in this current one, it was done privately”.


The Senate Chief Whip regretted the current situation in the upper house, saying that the lawmakers have not shown maturity in handling the situation.

“Our own rules in the Senate forbid us from discussing matters in the court.

“Those who support our Senate President (Dr. Bukola Saraki) should have given him all the support he needs so as to provide for himself, the best defence in the court of Nigeria,” he said.

Removing Saraki Is Impossible

However, Professor Adeyeye noted that it would be impossible to remove Senator Saraki considering the number in the Senate.


“If politics is a game of number, Saraki has the number in the Nigerian Senate (and) let nobody deceive himself.

“In the current situation, it is impossible because a majority is not enough to remove him (and) by the rules of the Senate, you need 2/3 to remove a presiding officer.

“That number will not come,” he stated.

In his suspicion, the lawmaker said that even though the Senate President loses the case in court, a civil servant would be made the scapegoat.

The trial of the Senate President on alleged forgery of the Standing Rules opened on Monday in a Federal High Court in Abuja.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

FG Fails To Arraign Saraki, Ekwerenmadu, Two Others

Saraki, EkwerenmaduThe Federal Government has failed to arraign the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu before an Abuja High Court on charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules used to conduct the election that brought them into office, as principal officers.

Contrary to media report on the arraignment, the federal government has not served the four defendants with the criminal charge as required by law.

The court bailiff was said to have taken the charge to the National Assembly complex on Friday evening, but did not meet the defendants in their offices.

Similar attempt was also said to have been made to serve them on Monday, but it also failed, because he was told that the lawmakers do not sit on Fridays and Mondays.

At the time of filing this report, a source in the FCT High Court told journalists that the bailiff had been sent out with the charge to serve the four defendants personally as required by law.

The court said that until they have been personally served, the arraignment cannot hold.

The charges filed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation by the Federal Government, against the senators reads:

“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.”

It also accused them of fraudulently forging the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when they knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order.

Some lawmakers, on behalf of the Senate, petitioned the Police, alleging forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 that produced Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu, following election of principal officers for the Senate.

Alleged Standing Rules’ Forgery: Saraki, Ekwerenmadu Others To Face Trial

Bukola-Saraki-and-Ike-EkwerenmaduThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, will be arraigned before an Abuja High Court on Tuesday on charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

The lawmakers are being charged along with two others – former Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.

In the affidavit filed on June 10, 2016, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), swore that the investigation into the case had been concluded.

The affidavit read: “The charges filed through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, by the Federal Government, against the senators reads that you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about, the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law”.

It also accused them of allegedly forging the Order, causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Police also claimed that the lawmakers knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order.

Some Senator had sent a petition to the Police, alleging forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 that produced Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu during the election of principal officers for the Senate.