The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has described the charges of criminal conspiracy and the forgery of the Senate Standing Rules document brought against him and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as ‘trumped up.’
“It is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General,” Saraki said in a statement on Monday after appearing before a Federal High Court in Abuja along with Ekweremadu, former clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi.
“These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate.”Saraki said he believed a set of a people within the government were out to persecute him.
“However, what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.”
The senate president said the charges brought against him and his deputy by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) did not serve a national interest and were capable of undermining the working relationship between the Senate and the Executive. The charges were also a clear violation of Separation of Powers, 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”.
“I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without a doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate. 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.”