I Won’t Run For Senate Again – Ekweremadu

Buhari Meets With Senate Southeast Caucus

 

 

Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said he will not be seeking re-election into the Senate come 2023.

This is according to a press statement made by the lawmaker on Sunday, May 12 in celebration of his 57th birthday.

In his communique, Ekweremadu appreciated God and his constituents for his re-election and triumphs, noting that he was raised to address enormous challenges faced by his people.

The parliamentarian said 2023 will be time to call it quits, adding, however, that as the 9th Assembly gets underway, he will ensure that all ongoing projects within his constituency are finished.

He said he will continue to collaborate with others within the Senate and outside, to ensure that the nation begins to enjoy peace, justice, and unity on a different pedestal.

“I will work with other patriotic Nigerians within and outside the National Assembly and across party, ethnic, and religious lines to address issues of disunity, insecurity, and poverty currently threatening our nation. I believe that together we can pioneer a new order characterised by peace, justice, unity, prosperity, egalitarianism, and boundless opportunities for all”.

Below is the lawmaker’s full statement as released by Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President’s special adviser (media).

READ ALSO: ‘A Great Friend’: Saraki, PDP, Others Congratulate Ekweremadu At 57

“Ekweremadu: I Won’t Run for Senate Again

…Says God has been kind to him

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has announced that he would not seek re-election into the Senate in 2023, noting that God had been kind to him, raising him to address enormous challenges faced by his people.

He spoke on Sunday at an event to mark his 57th birthday and to appreciate God and his constituents for his re-election and triumphs.

Ekweremadu recalled how he became the Chairman of his age grade association at age 10, and served as President-General of Mpu Town Union, pioneer elected Chairman of Aninri LGA, Chief of Staff of Enugu Government House, Secretary to Enugu State Government, fourth term Senator, third term Deputy President of the Senate, and the first Nigerian Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament”.

He, however, observed that it had not been all rosy as he had also faced serious political challenges and persecutions.

“We are assembled here today to mark the awesomeness of God in my life and to thank you all for standing by me over yet another year of trauma in my politics, including the attempt on my life and lives of my family members, the assault on my liberty, and all the evil designs of the evil people in our society against my person and politics. I have been through the valleys of the shadow of death. I have been scorched and bruised for my political beliefs and determination to defend the principles of democracy and uphold justice for every segment of this nation.

“Indeed, without the almightiness of God and your fidelity, I would not have been here to acknowledge the triumph of God’s grace over the evil intensions of wicked souls in high and low places of our society”.

Ekweremadu expressed happiness over the developments his representation had brought to his people.

“My life and political odyssey are products of divine grace working through destiny helpers like you, for I know where I am coming from. I also know how far the Almighty God has brought me.

“I have also looked back on the last 16 years, which I have represented Enugu West as their Senator and I can only thank God for our accomplishments. I have tried to count our blessings. I have tried to name them one by one. I must confess that I am truly surprised at what the Lord has done for us.

“Our road infrastructure has improved remarkably. The Awka-Ugwuoba-Oji River-Nachi-Udi-9th Mile-Abor-Ukehe-Opi Road, which is our latest intervention in this regard, has just been awarded.

“We have made progress in electricity and water supply to our various communities. We have built, rebuilt, and we are still building and rebuilding schools, churches, health and civic centres, among others.

“Our human capital development projects are on the upward trajectory. We have assisted several of our young people with employment in public service. Through the Ikeoha Foundation, we have supported 3,843 undergraduates with bursary awards, 87 with full scholarship, while over 12,155 women and youth have received basic education courtesy of Ikeoha Foundation Adult Literacy Programme”, he told his people.

Despite the achievements, however, Ekweremadu said it was time to call it quits with the Senate come 2023.

He said: “However, my dear brothers and sisters, you must admit that no matter how melodious a song may be, it will definitely have an end. Therefore, as I thank you for these 16 memorable and splendid years as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; as I thank my distinguished colleagues for honouring me as the Deputy President of the Senate for three consecutive times; as we recall the accomplishments of the projects of my representation in the last 16 years; as I acknowledge your kindness in keeping me in the Senate for these 16 years; and as I prepare to further represent you by your mandate for the next four years, let me seek your understanding and indulgence to now announce that this will be my last term as your Senator.

“As we get set for the 9th Senate, be assured that I will focus on the completion of all ongoing projects we attracted and ensure that communities that are yet to benefit from our vision in infrastructure adequately benefit.

“I will work with other patriotic Nigerians within and outside the National Assembly and across party, ethnic, and religious lines to address issues of disunity, insecurity, and poverty currently threatening our nation. I believe that together we can pioneer a new order characterised by peace, justice, unity, prosperity, egalitarianism, and boundless opportunities for all”.

The event was attended by key stakeholders in Enugu, including Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and members of the National and State Assemblies from the State.”

 

Withdraw Charges Against CJN And Apologise, Ekweremadu Advises FG

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest
(File) Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

 

Senator Ike Ekweremadu has urged the Federal Government to withdraw the charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, and also apologise to the nation’s judiciary.

The Deputy President of the Senate, in a series of posts on his social media handles, @iamekweremadu, in the early hours of Monday, described the charges as extremely dangerous for the nation’s democracy.

Ekweremadu emphasised the need to eschew every form of intimidation against other arms of government, to enable them to play their constitutional roles in the overall interest of the nation.

READ ALSO: South-South Governors Tell CJN To Ignore Planned CCT Trial

The Senator noted that the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary remained intact despite obvious constraints.

He said: “I consider the charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship, Justice Walter Onnoghen, as ill-advised and dangerous, especially after similar attempts at the leadership of the National Assembly failed.

“This is extremely dangerous for democracy and can only divide the country further as well as alienate us as a country very low in upholding the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

“I advice the Attorney General of the Federation to immediately withdraw the charges and apologise to the judiciary. We certainly can’t travel this road”.

PDP National Caucus Rejects Edo Governorship Election Outcome

PDP, INEC, Police, DSS, CourtThe Peoples Democratic Party rejected the outcome of the Edo State governorship election describing the process as a charade.

The opposition party made the statement at an enlarged National Caucus meeting held on Wednesday evening at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja and presided over by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi.

A statement by a spokesman for the party, Chinwe Nnorom, said that the meeting was well attended with the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jubrin, Principal Officers of the National Assembly, Governors of Ondo, Taraba, Bayelsa, Gombe, other members of the National Caretaker Committee, National Vice Chairmen, former Governors, former Ministers, other members of BoT and other members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

The Meeting was held to allow members brief the National Caucus on the status of the Party and the ongoing reconciliation process.

Daylight Robbery

Mr Nnorom said: “The National Caucus frowned at the brazen display of avarice and desperation against the Edo electorates and democracy on September 28 and 29, 2016 by the ruling APC in collaboration with INEC and security agencies all in the name of Governorship Election.

“Consequently, the Meeting unanimously rejected the outcome of the charade that took place in Edo State”.

The National Caucus further called on all members of the party nationwide and in Edo State in particular to remain calm and resilient in the face of “this daylight robbery of their mandate to our Candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. We believe that justice will be served”.

While the PDP has continued to put forward allegations of malpractices in the election, the INEC has dismissed its claims, saying that the election was free and fair and was conducted based on the stipulations of the Electoral Act.

Before the announcement of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  Mr Godwin Obaseki, as the winner of the election, the PDP had accused the INEC of collaborating with the ruling APC to rig the election at the collation centre.

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.

Saraki, Ekweremadu Plead Not Guilty To Alleged Senate Rules Forgery Charges

Bukola-Saraki-Ike-EkweremaduNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu have pleaded not guilty to charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

The two Senate leaders are being 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.

After their pleas, the prosecutor asked for a date to open his case.

However, the counsel to the first accused person and all other accused persons have made an application for bail.

The prosecutor said he had been served with the applications, but stressed that he had filed an affidavit in respect of that. However his clerk is still trying to file the counter affidavit.

He asked for a one hour stand down to be able to collect the documents.

The parties said they were reluctantly conceding to a stand down for one hour.

Earlier, before the proceeding started, the trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, tried to organise the court, by asking supporters of the accused persons to vacate their seats so that lawyers could seat.

Justice Halilu also asked journalists and lawyers to leave the court.

He said names of persons that would be allowed in would be called.

Lawmakers supporting the Senate President are also locked outside the court.

The judge, however, said he was not asking anyone to leave but was just trying to organise his court.

He further appealed to everyone to do their best to represent themselves and the law well and asked journalists to ensure that they record exactly what the court said.

Minutes after his statements, the court opened and the lawyers started announcing their appearances.

Mahmud Magaji said he was counsel to the first and second defendants – the former clerk of the National Assembly and the current clerk of the National Assembly.

Another lawyer, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, however, claimed he was counsel to the first defendant.

After he made the claim, Mr Magaji withdrew his appearance for the first defendant, a decision that the trial judge said was contrary to what was in the document before him.

Mr Magaji, however, insisted that he could withdraw his representation for the first defendant and allow the new lawyer take over.

Mr Paul Erukoro is counsel to the Senate President, while Mr Joseph Daudu is counsel to the deputy Senate President.

After their announcements, the prosecutor, Mohammed Diri, told the court that the case was for arraignment on a two-count charge of forgery filed on 10 June.

He reminded the court that a sworn affidavit and the list of witnesses and summary of statements of the accused persons had been submitted.

Mr Diri asked the court to deem the case as filed.

He also urged the court to order that the two-count charge be read to the accused persons for the purposes of taking their plea.

All counsels, however, made a no objection plea.

In the affidavit filed on June 10, 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.

Senator Saraki has maintained that he knows nothing about how the rules adopted in the inauguration of the Eighth Senate on June 9, 2015 was formulated.

He said the on-going efforts to drag him into a case of forgery before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, was just another phase in the orchestrated persecution he has faced since he emerged as Senate President a little over a year ago.

Saraki, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he was not a part of the leadership of the 7th Senate that made the rules in question and prior to his unanimous election as Senate President on June 9, 2015, he was merely a Senator-elect like all his colleagues and therefore was not in a position to influence the rules that were to be used in the conduct of the election.

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.

Senate Tasks Service Chiefs On Rescue Of Chibok Girls

chibok girlsThe Nigerian Senate has urged Service Chiefs to continue with the efforts being made to search for and rescue the 276 abducted Chibok girls.

This demand is coming few days after a two-year anniversary of the girls’ abduction was held.

It is the outcome of Wednesday’s closed-door meeting between the lawmakers and Service Chiefs, which also had the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service in attendance.

After the meeting, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said efforts to rescue the Chibok girls in the past two years were discussed in the meeting.

The security chiefs also addressed questions that bothered on national security in the country.

The Senate had on April 15 requested that the Service Chiefs should appear before it to give an update on efforts being made to rescue the over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014 from Chibok in Borno State.

The girls were abducted for their schools dormitory on April 14, 2014 while they were taking their final year exams.

A video appearing to show proof of life of some of the kidnapped Chibok girls is being aired, along with images of tearful parents identifying their daughters, unheard of since the mass abduction by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

CNN showed the video, reported to be made in December of the girls wearing the hijab and of one mother reaching out to a computer screen as she identifies her daughter.