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Showing posts with label Code of Conduct Tribunal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Code of Conduct Tribunal. Show all posts

Scapegoat: Orubebe's Properties SEIZED Over False Assets Declaration

Scapegoat: Orubebe's Properties SEIZED Over False Assets Declaration

Godsday Orubebe,
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on Tuesday found a former Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godsday Orubebe, guilty of false declaration of asset.

‎The tribunal, chaired by Danladi Umar, declared its judgement, seizing the asset said to have been exempted in Mr. Orubebe’s declaration form, but placed no other penalties against him.

Mr. Orubebe was accused of failing to declare an asset he acquired while in office as minister of the Niger Delta.

The asset, plot 2057, Asokoro district, Abuja was aquired barely a month before the end of his tenure and traced to him, but exempted in his asset declaration form.



Mr. Orubebe said he had put the said asset up for sale before the expiration of his tenure.

But the tribunal found Mr. Orubebe guilty of possession of the said plot, stressing that prosecution proved its case beyond doubts.

In his ruling, Mr. Umar decided that the arguments put forward by the prosecution were valid and thier documents admitted in envidence.
“‎I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057.

The federal government had in October last year filed a three-count charge against, Mr. Orubebe but reduced them to one in March, this year.
The former minister is known for his ardent support for former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Godsday Orubebe,
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on Tuesday found a former Minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godsday Orubebe, guilty of false declaration of asset.

‎The tribunal, chaired by Danladi Umar, declared its judgement, seizing the asset said to have been exempted in Mr. Orubebe’s declaration form, but placed no other penalties against him.

Mr. Orubebe was accused of failing to declare an asset he acquired while in office as minister of the Niger Delta.

The asset, plot 2057, Asokoro district, Abuja was aquired barely a month before the end of his tenure and traced to him, but exempted in his asset declaration form.



Mr. Orubebe said he had put the said asset up for sale before the expiration of his tenure.

But the tribunal found Mr. Orubebe guilty of possession of the said plot, stressing that prosecution proved its case beyond doubts.

In his ruling, Mr. Umar decided that the arguments put forward by the prosecution were valid and thier documents admitted in envidence.
“‎I hereby seize, on behalf of the federal government, the property known as plot 2057.

The federal government had in October last year filed a three-count charge against, Mr. Orubebe but reduced them to one in March, this year.
The former minister is known for his ardent support for former president Goodluck Jonathan.

Forgery Suit: Jittery Saraki's Secret Plea With Arch-Enemy, Ahmed Lawan Group To Withdraw Suit FAILS

Forgery Suit: Jittery Saraki's Secret Plea With Arch-Enemy, Ahmed Lawan Group To Withdraw Suit FAILS

Forgery Suit: Jittery Saraki's Secret Plead With Arch-Enemy, Ahmed Lawan Group To Withdraw Suit FAILS
The embattled President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki in an 11th minutes efforts to get a hook off his forgery suit has reportedly begged his arch-enemy, Senator Ahmed's Lawan group who had earlier filed the Senate Standing Rules FORGERY SUIT against him  and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. in the court

Punch Newspaper says, the Senate leadership in an effort to frustrate the scheduled arraignment of its presiding officers, Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, at a Federal Capital Territory High Court, failed on Wednesday during a closed session that lasted for about two hours.

 It was learnt that the leadership had suggested the withdrawal of the case by the litigants, who are members of the Senate Unity Forum, a suggestion that the affected persons turned down on the grounds that the case was now being handled by the Federal Government.

Saraki, according to a Senator, who spoke to Punch Newspaper correspondents on condition of anonymity because it was against the Senate convention to disclose issues discussed in the execute session, appealed to the litigants to withdraw the case in line with the recommendations of the peace committee.

The Senate Peace and Reconciliation Committee, led by Senator James Manager, had, in its report, recommended among others, the withdrawal of the suit, the recomposition of the committees and the disbandment of groups within the Senate.

One of our correspondents learnt that members of the SUF, who took the case to court, said the matter was now beyond them as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had taken over the case.

The source added, “The senators, who went to court, were of the opinion that the case had attained another dimension because it was the Federal Government that is now prosecuting those who allegedly produced the fake document.”

A copy of the document obtained on Wednesday showed that the panel accused Saraki of unduly favouring some members in appointments to juicy committees.

The panel recommended the restructuring of the committees so that the aggrieved senators would be pacified.

Saraki currently facing double criminal charges bothering on corruption at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over dishonest assets declaration  and  the forgery of Senate Standing rule that cornered him and Ekweremadu to lead the 8th senate.


Forgery Suit: Jittery Saraki's Secret Plead With Arch-Enemy, Ahmed Lawan Group To Withdraw Suit FAILS
The embattled President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki in an 11th minutes efforts to get a hook off his forgery suit has reportedly begged his arch-enemy, Senator Ahmed's Lawan group who had earlier filed the Senate Standing Rules FORGERY SUIT against him  and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. in the court

Punch Newspaper says, the Senate leadership in an effort to frustrate the scheduled arraignment of its presiding officers, Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, at a Federal Capital Territory High Court, failed on Wednesday during a closed session that lasted for about two hours.

 It was learnt that the leadership had suggested the withdrawal of the case by the litigants, who are members of the Senate Unity Forum, a suggestion that the affected persons turned down on the grounds that the case was now being handled by the Federal Government.

Saraki, according to a Senator, who spoke to Punch Newspaper correspondents on condition of anonymity because it was against the Senate convention to disclose issues discussed in the execute session, appealed to the litigants to withdraw the case in line with the recommendations of the peace committee.

The Senate Peace and Reconciliation Committee, led by Senator James Manager, had, in its report, recommended among others, the withdrawal of the suit, the recomposition of the committees and the disbandment of groups within the Senate.

One of our correspondents learnt that members of the SUF, who took the case to court, said the matter was now beyond them as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had taken over the case.

The source added, “The senators, who went to court, were of the opinion that the case had attained another dimension because it was the Federal Government that is now prosecuting those who allegedly produced the fake document.”

A copy of the document obtained on Wednesday showed that the panel accused Saraki of unduly favouring some members in appointments to juicy committees.

The panel recommended the restructuring of the committees so that the aggrieved senators would be pacified.

Saraki currently facing double criminal charges bothering on corruption at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over dishonest assets declaration  and  the forgery of Senate Standing rule that cornered him and Ekweremadu to lead the 8th senate.


Only Death Can Separate Me From You, Dino Melaye Vows To Devastated Saraki

Only Death Can Separate Me From You, Dino Melaye Vows To Devastated Saraki

Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi State has pledged his unflinching support to the embattled President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Melaye, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who could not correctly spell THOUSAND but spelt it as THOUSOUND in a facebook post this afternoon was quoted as saying; 

"My brother and friend Sen. Bukola Saraki, if you have 1 trillion supporters I'm one,if you have one billion I'm one,if you have one million I'm one,if you have one thousound I'm one if you have ten I'm one,if you have only one supporter I'm one and if you have no single supporter it means I'm dead. No shaking. Four years tooo sure."

Saraki is facing 13 counts corruption charges at the Code of Conduct tribunal over some undeclared assets.




Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi State has pledged his unflinching support to the embattled President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Melaye, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who could not correctly spell THOUSAND but spelt it as THOUSOUND in a facebook post this afternoon was quoted as saying; 

"My brother and friend Sen. Bukola Saraki, if you have 1 trillion supporters I'm one,if you have one billion I'm one,if you have one million I'm one,if you have one thousound I'm one if you have ten I'm one,if you have only one supporter I'm one and if you have no single supporter it means I'm dead. No shaking. Four years tooo sure."

Saraki is facing 13 counts corruption charges at the Code of Conduct tribunal over some undeclared assets.




Double Wahala As FG Slams 2 Fresh Charges Again Saraki At CCT

Double Wahala As FG Slams 2 Fresh Charges Again Saraki At CCT

The Federal Government has amended the charges of false asset declaration preferred against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.

With the amendment, Saraki will be facing two fresh charges in addition to the 13 counts originally preferred against him, which comprised false asset declaration and maintaining of the offshore account while serving as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

The additional charges include the allegation that Saraki continued to receive salary and emoluments as Governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, from the Federal Government as a senator between June 2011 and October 2013.

The other additional charge is that Saraki failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as Governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest leasehold in the property at 42, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

He was said to have acquired the property in December 12, 1996 through his company, Skyview Properties Limited from First Finance trust Limited.

The Federal Government has amended the charges of false asset declaration preferred against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.

With the amendment, Saraki will be facing two fresh charges in addition to the 13 counts originally preferred against him, which comprised false asset declaration and maintaining of the offshore account while serving as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

The additional charges include the allegation that Saraki continued to receive salary and emoluments as Governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, from the Federal Government as a senator between June 2011 and October 2013.

The other additional charge is that Saraki failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as Governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest leasehold in the property at 42, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

He was said to have acquired the property in December 12, 1996 through his company, Skyview Properties Limited from First Finance trust Limited.

President Buhari Is Not A Fool, By Joe Igbokwe

President Buhari Is Not A Fool, By Joe Igbokwe

President Buhari Is Not A Fool, By Joe Igbokwe
"Under our own eyes, we have seen Saraki going to CCT with 90 lawyers and more than 60 Senators though the number of Senators reduced to 30 and then 10 as the trial progresses. We have seen the day to day proceedings in the Senate being disrupted as a result of Saraki’s travails.

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has attempted to amend the Code of Conduct Tribunal law.

The Senate has tried to invite Justice Danladi Umar of CCT to the Senate in an attempt to scuttle Saraki’s trial. In the National Assembly (both Senate and House of Reps) the 2016 Budget has suffered lots and lots of mutilations and balkanization all in the bid to favour themselves, and not Nigerians and this has led to delays in giving Nigerians what APC promised.

The crisis in the National Assembly especially the Senate has slowed down the business of governance; it has affected every Nigerian. It has proved to us that majority in the National Assembly are there to help themselves and not Nigerians.

If more than 60 Senators can muster the courage to follow Senator Saraki to the CCT in the name of solidarity for a purely criminal offence, what are we talking about in this country?

Can President Buhari fight corruption with these Senators in the Senate building?

Can our courts function with this kind of criminal conspiracy and gang up? Can we deliver our change mantra under this criminal gang up?

Few years back somebody said “Nigeria was governed by two kinds of leaders. A fool surrounded by idiots or an idiot surrounded by fools”.

Today we have moved away from this. 

President Buhari is no fool or idiot and those around him are no idiots and neither are they fools.

Those who still think it is still business as usual in Nigeria cannot get it and mark my word they will burn their fingers."

- Joe Igbokwe
President Buhari Is Not A Fool, By Joe Igbokwe
"Under our own eyes, we have seen Saraki going to CCT with 90 lawyers and more than 60 Senators though the number of Senators reduced to 30 and then 10 as the trial progresses. We have seen the day to day proceedings in the Senate being disrupted as a result of Saraki’s travails.

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has attempted to amend the Code of Conduct Tribunal law.

The Senate has tried to invite Justice Danladi Umar of CCT to the Senate in an attempt to scuttle Saraki’s trial. In the National Assembly (both Senate and House of Reps) the 2016 Budget has suffered lots and lots of mutilations and balkanization all in the bid to favour themselves, and not Nigerians and this has led to delays in giving Nigerians what APC promised.

The crisis in the National Assembly especially the Senate has slowed down the business of governance; it has affected every Nigerian. It has proved to us that majority in the National Assembly are there to help themselves and not Nigerians.

If more than 60 Senators can muster the courage to follow Senator Saraki to the CCT in the name of solidarity for a purely criminal offence, what are we talking about in this country?

Can President Buhari fight corruption with these Senators in the Senate building?

Can our courts function with this kind of criminal conspiracy and gang up? Can we deliver our change mantra under this criminal gang up?

Few years back somebody said “Nigeria was governed by two kinds of leaders. A fool surrounded by idiots or an idiot surrounded by fools”.

Today we have moved away from this. 

President Buhari is no fool or idiot and those around him are no idiots and neither are they fools.

Those who still think it is still business as usual in Nigeria cannot get it and mark my word they will burn their fingers."

- Joe Igbokwe

Fights To Replace Saraki Intense; North-Central Picks A Consensus, PDP Picks Ekweremadu

Fights To Replace Saraki Intense; North-Central Picks A Consensus, PDP Picks Ekweremadu

Senators from the North-central geopolitical zone, under the auspices of the Forum of North-central Senators, have resolved that one of their own emerges as the next senate president in the event of Bukola Saraki’s removal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), ThisDay reports

Saraki is being tried by the tribunal for false declaration of assets when he was the governor of Kwara State between 2007 and 2011.

According to our source, a senator from the zone yesterday  said: “It is expected that the North-central zone retains the seat because in the present dispensation, the zone only has the Senate presidency allotted to us.”

The senator, who elected to speak anonymously, disclosed that several meetings across political divides had been held recently on the issue.

He said: “It is becoming obvious that the present occupant of the seat would likely give in to the pressure coming from his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

“So we have weighed the situation surrounding Saraki’s situation and have come to the resolution that we must work across board to have one of our own replace him. This is in the spirit of political correctness and inclusion.

“When you look at the crop of senators from the zone, we have experienced lawmakers comprising ranking and knowledgeable senators capable of administering the Senate. Some of us have combined experience of both being in the executive and now as legislators.

“Agreeably, the zone parades the best crop of lawmakers in the present Senate and it is rightly expected that we retain the leadership of the Senate at this crucial time.

“What we have done is to look at individual senator’s profiles and taken crucial Senate service requirements into consideration and I can tell you that we have a consensus on who is most suited for the job."

“It is in the overall interest of the zone to keep the seat without any compromise at this point in time and this is what we have decided to do regardless of political affiliations.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may field Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as a likely replacement if there is vacancy following the Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said in a recent interview that his party would only consider it as sacrifice for Change should the opposition PDP emerges as the next President of the Senate.

Some members of the opposition party are thinking in that direction following the body language of the Unity Forum and the Like Minds camps in the Senate.

Members of both camps, who spoke with our correspondent yesterday evening, revealed that they are considering Ekwer­emadu as a possible replacement for the Senate president, based on his experience and the fact that he has been Saraki’s deputy since last June.


Senators from the North-central geopolitical zone, under the auspices of the Forum of North-central Senators, have resolved that one of their own emerges as the next senate president in the event of Bukola Saraki’s removal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), ThisDay reports

Saraki is being tried by the tribunal for false declaration of assets when he was the governor of Kwara State between 2007 and 2011.

According to our source, a senator from the zone yesterday  said: “It is expected that the North-central zone retains the seat because in the present dispensation, the zone only has the Senate presidency allotted to us.”

The senator, who elected to speak anonymously, disclosed that several meetings across political divides had been held recently on the issue.

He said: “It is becoming obvious that the present occupant of the seat would likely give in to the pressure coming from his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

“So we have weighed the situation surrounding Saraki’s situation and have come to the resolution that we must work across board to have one of our own replace him. This is in the spirit of political correctness and inclusion.

“When you look at the crop of senators from the zone, we have experienced lawmakers comprising ranking and knowledgeable senators capable of administering the Senate. Some of us have combined experience of both being in the executive and now as legislators.

“Agreeably, the zone parades the best crop of lawmakers in the present Senate and it is rightly expected that we retain the leadership of the Senate at this crucial time.

“What we have done is to look at individual senator’s profiles and taken crucial Senate service requirements into consideration and I can tell you that we have a consensus on who is most suited for the job."

“It is in the overall interest of the zone to keep the seat without any compromise at this point in time and this is what we have decided to do regardless of political affiliations.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may field Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as a likely replacement if there is vacancy following the Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said in a recent interview that his party would only consider it as sacrifice for Change should the opposition PDP emerges as the next President of the Senate.

Some members of the opposition party are thinking in that direction following the body language of the Unity Forum and the Like Minds camps in the Senate.

Members of both camps, who spoke with our correspondent yesterday evening, revealed that they are considering Ekwer­emadu as a possible replacement for the Senate president, based on his experience and the fact that he has been Saraki’s deputy since last June.


4yrs Salary Scandal: How Kwara Govt. Worsens Saraki's Predicament

4yrs Salary Scandal: How Kwara Govt. Worsens Saraki's Predicament

TheNews - Kwara state government confirmation that it was paying Senator Bukola Saraki’s pension, instead of salary as stated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has not helped the embattled senator.

Instead, it has only worsened the case against the Senator, as no public officer is entitled to draw money from two government sources at the same time, people with inside knowledge of government said.

Saraki governed Kwara state between 2003 and 2011.

When he became a senator of the Federal Republic in June 2011, all payments to him by Kwara ought to have stopped as he became engaged by the Federal Government as a senator and paid all emoluments of the office.

His pension or whatever the state wanted to cloak it therefore ought to have ceased or at worse one ought to have stopped for the other. Saraki is not known to have rejected the emoluments of a senator.

If the Kwara government felt rightly justified that they were doing the right thing, why did they stop remitting ‘pensions’ into his account from August 2015, after he became Senate President?

The constitution of the Federal Republic is crystal clear about the issue:
It says under the Code of Conduct rules that no public officer shall “Receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any other public office”. The only exception when he could collect the money twice, is if he is not employed on full time basis.

Emphatically the Code of Conduct says:
(1) A public officer shall not, after his retirement from public service and while receiving pension from public funds, accept more than one remunerative position as chairman, director or employee of: a company owned or controlled by the government; or any public authority.

Kwara State Government has said that it did not continue paying former governor of the State and Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki salaries after he left office in May 2011.

In reaction to evidences tendered at the Senate President’s Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday, that the Kwara government continued to pay salaries or pension to Bukola Saraki Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Isiaka Gold explained that Saraki’s last salary was N291,474.00 for the month of May 2011.

“From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country”.

The statement added that after the review of pensions of former political office holders by the State Pension Board, the former governor’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date.

Kwara State Government in the statement dismissed the allegations as false and misleading.

So the Senate President clearly has run foul of the law, collecting Senate salary and also ‘pension’ as former governor.
TheNews - Kwara state government confirmation that it was paying Senator Bukola Saraki’s pension, instead of salary as stated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has not helped the embattled senator.

Instead, it has only worsened the case against the Senator, as no public officer is entitled to draw money from two government sources at the same time, people with inside knowledge of government said.

Saraki governed Kwara state between 2003 and 2011.

When he became a senator of the Federal Republic in June 2011, all payments to him by Kwara ought to have stopped as he became engaged by the Federal Government as a senator and paid all emoluments of the office.

His pension or whatever the state wanted to cloak it therefore ought to have ceased or at worse one ought to have stopped for the other. Saraki is not known to have rejected the emoluments of a senator.

If the Kwara government felt rightly justified that they were doing the right thing, why did they stop remitting ‘pensions’ into his account from August 2015, after he became Senate President?

The constitution of the Federal Republic is crystal clear about the issue:
It says under the Code of Conduct rules that no public officer shall “Receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any other public office”. The only exception when he could collect the money twice, is if he is not employed on full time basis.

Emphatically the Code of Conduct says:
(1) A public officer shall not, after his retirement from public service and while receiving pension from public funds, accept more than one remunerative position as chairman, director or employee of: a company owned or controlled by the government; or any public authority.

Kwara State Government has said that it did not continue paying former governor of the State and Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki salaries after he left office in May 2011.

In reaction to evidences tendered at the Senate President’s Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday, that the Kwara government continued to pay salaries or pension to Bukola Saraki Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Isiaka Gold explained that Saraki’s last salary was N291,474.00 for the month of May 2011.

“From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country”.

The statement added that after the review of pensions of former political office holders by the State Pension Board, the former governor’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date.

Kwara State Government in the statement dismissed the allegations as false and misleading.

So the Senate President clearly has run foul of the law, collecting Senate salary and also ‘pension’ as former governor.

At CCT Trial Today, Witness Exposes More Dirty Deals, Tenders Implicating Documents Against Saraki

At CCT Trial Today, Witness Exposes More Dirty Deals, Tenders Implicating Documents Against Saraki

saraki
As the trial continues today, Micheal Wetkas, the first prosecution witness in the false asset declaration trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has revealed how Saraki operated three bank accounts and how transactions on those accounts were carried out.

Wetkas who explained that Saraki operated a naira account, dollar account and pounds account revealed how transactions were made in favour of a Presidential Implementation Committee and for acquisition of properties amongst other things.

Giving evidence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Wtekas also revealed the people who carried out those transactions on behalf of Saraki.
Exhibit P7: Naira Account

Naira currency account which the defendant is sole signatory to. The first date of transaction on the account was 23, March, 2005 when there was cash lodgement of N10 million by one Abdul who was discovered to be PA of the defendant.

Wetkas said on 24 March, 2005, there was a cash deposit by the same Abdul of N8.2 million.

On 29 March, there was a transaction of N200,240m in favour of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Govt Properties. It was a draft for the purchase of property from the Implementation. Also, on 29, there was a loan disbursement of N200 million which preceded the bank draft.

On 16, Oct 2006, there was a disbursement of a loan of N380 million and the same day, there were 2 bank drafts in favour of the Implementation Committee combined in one transaction for the sum of N256, 312,815million- the total sum of the two drafts.

On 16, October, 2006, there was another draft of N12.8 million also on favour of the Implementation Committee. Wetkas said the drafts are meant for purchase of property from the implementation Commitee by the defendants. On 5, February, 2007, there was a loan disbursement by GTB into the account of the sum of N380 million.

How the Account was funded /Repayment of Loan On 27, Feb 2007, there was a cash deposit by Josiah Samuel of N3 million. Then on 3 Apri, 2007, there was telegraphic transfer of N180, 625m. It was done on the instruction of the defendant as part payment for another property from the Implementation Committee.

On 05, Sept 2007, one Ubi made cash lodgments in five trenches for the sums of N11 million, N20 m, N20 m, 20m, and N6 million, making N77 m in one day. The account was in debit balance of N81, 960,289.12 before the lodgement. On 22, November, 2007, there was cash lodgement into the account by Abdul Adama in 50 different transactions making total of N45m. Before the lodgement, the account was in debit balance of over N80 million. On 29 Nov, there was also cash lodgements by Ubi in over 20 transactions and the total sum is about N20 million. On 4 March, 2008, there was cash lodgment by different individuals before then, the account was in deficit of over N96m. On I8, April, 2008, cash lodgements by several individuals with different names. On 23, Sept. 2008, there were several cash lodgments also by different individuals. On 30 April, 2009, there was a draft in favour BGL Assets Management Limited of the sum of N400 million. There were several cash lodgments by different individuals on that same day. There was a lodgment of N65 million on that day after which there a loan of disbursement of N400 million.

On 26, October 2009, there were cash lodgments by different individuals-87 lodgments in all. The money was deposited to defray the loans because the account was in debit balance.

The deposits were not made at once to beat the Money Laundering Law. Wetkas said even the bankers confirmed that was why the deposits were staggered.

He said his team demanded for the deposit slips from GTB and raised issues with the bank because there were no details of individuals who pay in the money.

Since there was no address on the deposit slips, we could not trace the depositors as the deposit slips were not filled in a normal way. But GTB defended itself by saying has since reported the transaction to NFIU.

On 5 November 2009, there was also cash lodgements by several individuals.

Exhibit P8: Dollar Account
Is the dollar account of the defendant. On 18 May, 2009, there was cash lodgement by Todimu of eight thousand dollars, on that same day, he loged in another eight thousand dollars. On the same 18, there was another lodgment on four thousand dollars by one Bayo, a banker. On the 19 May, there were deposit of 10,00 dollars each into the account. The last three deposits were made by the defendants himself. Then, there was a lodgement on 50,000 dollars on 12, June, 2009 by one Garba Dare. Then, 12 one 99, 925 dollars by one Din Dahuuh, a BDC. On 26 Aug 2009, there was 49,969 dollars by Carlie Property and Investment Ltd. On 7 Sept 2009, there was 59,964 dollars by the same company. The transfer to this account- the outflow were basically made to American Express Services Europe Limited.

Part of the outflows were to BDCs. From our investigations, the transfers from this account to American Express Services Europe Ltd account was up 3,400 m dollars. Part of the outflow also is to the Pound Sterling Account.

The foreign currencies were transferred to American Services Euro Ltd acct no 730580 and the beneficiary banks according to telex for transfer are American Express Bank, New York. One of the telex, used for a transaction on 25, Aug 2008 for the sum of 73,223.28 dollars was tendered.
Exhibit P9: Pound Sterling Account

There were six transactions, three deposit and three outflow of over one million, five hundred and sixteen thousand pounds.
The inflows were from the dollar account. Loan of N375million by GTB to the defendant on 10 Feb 2010, the purpose was for the purchase of property in London.

The loan was paid into the defendants personal naira account on 11, Feb 2010 and from the naira account, it was paid into the Bureau De Change which paid the equivalent in dollars to the dollar account.

On 12 February, the sum of 184,800m was paid to Sun and Sand Industries Ltd. on the 15 Feb, 2010, the sum of I53 million was transferred to Mumin and Services Ltd for exchange to dollars.

The money was transferred to the dollars account and was later transferred to Fortis Bank SA/NV for mortgage redemption. The beneficiary of the transfer in Dr. B Saraki.

Wetkas identified the petition sent to the EFCC by Kwara Freedom Network in which the group asked EFCC to investigate management of Kwara State account form 2003 to 2007. There were four petitions from the same organisation. Another petition is from the Concerned Pensioners of Nigeria, Kwara State branch.

Earlier, Micheal Wetkas, has tendered some bank documents revealing transact made on behalf of Saraki

Wetkas is an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, asked Wetkas to tell the court how he got documents from GTB implicating Saraki.
He told the court that it was part of the intelligence report handed to the investigation team by the former Executive Chairman of EFCC. He said that his team also wrote to GTB to confirm the details of the accounts, the account opening statement and so on.
He added that GTB obliged by giving the team the account opening packages and the statement of accounts. Wetkas said his team also demanded for instruments for transactions in the accounts, including telex transfer details which was all provided.
The EFCC operative said his team requested for details of three personal accounts belonging to the defendants from GTB. He added that part of the requests were the loans taken on the naira account which was also provided to his team.
He identified the Letters of Request to the GTB on the personal loan account of Saraki no 0034967455. He also confirmed the response which he said also include the USD account no 0034967479 and also pound sterling account 441441953/3/1/0.
He added that the bank also forwarded account opening package for the three accounts. He added that attached also is the certificate of identification of statement of account.
He said that in the statement for the naira account they used the old number. Wetkas said the bank also forwarded an offer letter for a loan of N375 million which purpose was for the purchase of property in London. He added that the letter is dated 10 February, 2012.
He identified his team’s letter to GTB on the dollar account, the bank’s response, certificate of identification, the telex tranfer instruments. Wetkas also identified the letter of request for details of Saraki pound sterling account from the GTB and the bank’s response.
Jacobs sought the permission of the court to tender the three documents and the Chairman of the Tribunal asked the defence team if they have any objection.
Agabi said if he is to argue his objections to the documents it will take the whole day. He asked the Tribunal to admit the documents while the defence will reserve its objection.
saraki
As the trial continues today, Micheal Wetkas, the first prosecution witness in the false asset declaration trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has revealed how Saraki operated three bank accounts and how transactions on those accounts were carried out.

Wetkas who explained that Saraki operated a naira account, dollar account and pounds account revealed how transactions were made in favour of a Presidential Implementation Committee and for acquisition of properties amongst other things.

Giving evidence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Wtekas also revealed the people who carried out those transactions on behalf of Saraki.
Exhibit P7: Naira Account

Naira currency account which the defendant is sole signatory to. The first date of transaction on the account was 23, March, 2005 when there was cash lodgement of N10 million by one Abdul who was discovered to be PA of the defendant.

Wetkas said on 24 March, 2005, there was a cash deposit by the same Abdul of N8.2 million.

On 29 March, there was a transaction of N200,240m in favour of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Sale of Govt Properties. It was a draft for the purchase of property from the Implementation. Also, on 29, there was a loan disbursement of N200 million which preceded the bank draft.

On 16, Oct 2006, there was a disbursement of a loan of N380 million and the same day, there were 2 bank drafts in favour of the Implementation Committee combined in one transaction for the sum of N256, 312,815million- the total sum of the two drafts.

On 16, October, 2006, there was another draft of N12.8 million also on favour of the Implementation Committee. Wetkas said the drafts are meant for purchase of property from the implementation Commitee by the defendants. On 5, February, 2007, there was a loan disbursement by GTB into the account of the sum of N380 million.

How the Account was funded /Repayment of Loan On 27, Feb 2007, there was a cash deposit by Josiah Samuel of N3 million. Then on 3 Apri, 2007, there was telegraphic transfer of N180, 625m. It was done on the instruction of the defendant as part payment for another property from the Implementation Committee.

On 05, Sept 2007, one Ubi made cash lodgments in five trenches for the sums of N11 million, N20 m, N20 m, 20m, and N6 million, making N77 m in one day. The account was in debit balance of N81, 960,289.12 before the lodgement. On 22, November, 2007, there was cash lodgement into the account by Abdul Adama in 50 different transactions making total of N45m. Before the lodgement, the account was in debit balance of over N80 million. On 29 Nov, there was also cash lodgements by Ubi in over 20 transactions and the total sum is about N20 million. On 4 March, 2008, there was cash lodgment by different individuals before then, the account was in deficit of over N96m. On I8, April, 2008, cash lodgements by several individuals with different names. On 23, Sept. 2008, there were several cash lodgments also by different individuals. On 30 April, 2009, there was a draft in favour BGL Assets Management Limited of the sum of N400 million. There were several cash lodgments by different individuals on that same day. There was a lodgment of N65 million on that day after which there a loan of disbursement of N400 million.

On 26, October 2009, there were cash lodgments by different individuals-87 lodgments in all. The money was deposited to defray the loans because the account was in debit balance.

The deposits were not made at once to beat the Money Laundering Law. Wetkas said even the bankers confirmed that was why the deposits were staggered.

He said his team demanded for the deposit slips from GTB and raised issues with the bank because there were no details of individuals who pay in the money.

Since there was no address on the deposit slips, we could not trace the depositors as the deposit slips were not filled in a normal way. But GTB defended itself by saying has since reported the transaction to NFIU.

On 5 November 2009, there was also cash lodgements by several individuals.

Exhibit P8: Dollar Account
Is the dollar account of the defendant. On 18 May, 2009, there was cash lodgement by Todimu of eight thousand dollars, on that same day, he loged in another eight thousand dollars. On the same 18, there was another lodgment on four thousand dollars by one Bayo, a banker. On the 19 May, there were deposit of 10,00 dollars each into the account. The last three deposits were made by the defendants himself. Then, there was a lodgement on 50,000 dollars on 12, June, 2009 by one Garba Dare. Then, 12 one 99, 925 dollars by one Din Dahuuh, a BDC. On 26 Aug 2009, there was 49,969 dollars by Carlie Property and Investment Ltd. On 7 Sept 2009, there was 59,964 dollars by the same company. The transfer to this account- the outflow were basically made to American Express Services Europe Limited.

Part of the outflows were to BDCs. From our investigations, the transfers from this account to American Express Services Europe Ltd account was up 3,400 m dollars. Part of the outflow also is to the Pound Sterling Account.

The foreign currencies were transferred to American Services Euro Ltd acct no 730580 and the beneficiary banks according to telex for transfer are American Express Bank, New York. One of the telex, used for a transaction on 25, Aug 2008 for the sum of 73,223.28 dollars was tendered.
Exhibit P9: Pound Sterling Account

There were six transactions, three deposit and three outflow of over one million, five hundred and sixteen thousand pounds.
The inflows were from the dollar account. Loan of N375million by GTB to the defendant on 10 Feb 2010, the purpose was for the purchase of property in London.

The loan was paid into the defendants personal naira account on 11, Feb 2010 and from the naira account, it was paid into the Bureau De Change which paid the equivalent in dollars to the dollar account.

On 12 February, the sum of 184,800m was paid to Sun and Sand Industries Ltd. on the 15 Feb, 2010, the sum of I53 million was transferred to Mumin and Services Ltd for exchange to dollars.

The money was transferred to the dollars account and was later transferred to Fortis Bank SA/NV for mortgage redemption. The beneficiary of the transfer in Dr. B Saraki.

Wetkas identified the petition sent to the EFCC by Kwara Freedom Network in which the group asked EFCC to investigate management of Kwara State account form 2003 to 2007. There were four petitions from the same organisation. Another petition is from the Concerned Pensioners of Nigeria, Kwara State branch.

Earlier, Micheal Wetkas, has tendered some bank documents revealing transact made on behalf of Saraki

Wetkas is an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, asked Wetkas to tell the court how he got documents from GTB implicating Saraki.
He told the court that it was part of the intelligence report handed to the investigation team by the former Executive Chairman of EFCC. He said that his team also wrote to GTB to confirm the details of the accounts, the account opening statement and so on.
He added that GTB obliged by giving the team the account opening packages and the statement of accounts. Wetkas said his team also demanded for instruments for transactions in the accounts, including telex transfer details which was all provided.
The EFCC operative said his team requested for details of three personal accounts belonging to the defendants from GTB. He added that part of the requests were the loans taken on the naira account which was also provided to his team.
He identified the Letters of Request to the GTB on the personal loan account of Saraki no 0034967455. He also confirmed the response which he said also include the USD account no 0034967479 and also pound sterling account 441441953/3/1/0.
He added that the bank also forwarded account opening package for the three accounts. He added that attached also is the certificate of identification of statement of account.
He said that in the statement for the naira account they used the old number. Wetkas said the bank also forwarded an offer letter for a loan of N375 million which purpose was for the purchase of property in London. He added that the letter is dated 10 February, 2012.
He identified his team’s letter to GTB on the dollar account, the bank’s response, certificate of identification, the telex tranfer instruments. Wetkas also identified the letter of request for details of Saraki pound sterling account from the GTB and the bank’s response.
Jacobs sought the permission of the court to tender the three documents and the Chairman of the Tribunal asked the defence team if they have any objection.
Agabi said if he is to argue his objections to the documents it will take the whole day. He asked the Tribunal to admit the documents while the defence will reserve its objection.

Saraki Sets To Resign As Loyalists Mount Pressure; PencilS 2 As Replacement

Saraki Sets To Resign As Loyalists Mount Pressure; PencilS 2 As Replacement

Ahead of the expected judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, following yesterday’s commencement of his trial over false assets declaration when he held sway as governor of Kwara State, Senate President, Bukola Saraki may throw in the towel by resigning from his position any movement from now.

In other not to be humiliated while on the throne, some senators including those who had vowed to remain with him to the end of his trial at the anti-graft court, yesterday, asked the Senate President to consider the resignation option so as to save the Senate, as an institution. 

It was gathered that the option was thrown to him at a special meeting held by a group of some loyal senators, who followed him to his Maitama residence, shortly after the end of yesterday’s trial at the court. 

But as Saraki is considering the option, senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, appeared to be at loggerhead with their counterparts in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the Senate President’s successor. 

While the APC senators are insisting on producing Saraki’s successor, those of the PDP are favorably disposed to anointing one of their own, a development that has further polarized the Red Chamber. 

A senator of the PDP fold, who spoke to Vanguard late yesterday, but on condition that his identity would not be mentioned, said Saraki was given the option of resigning basically to save the institution of the legislature. ‘”I can confirm to you that at a special meeting held yesterday, we asked the Senate President to consider the option of resignation. 

“We believe that doing so would preserve the institution of the Senate, “he said, refusing to speak further. Asked whether the Senate President was considering the resignation option, the lawmaker said ‘” this was just thrown at him this evening. We believe that he would do the right thing.'”. 

Meanwhile, names of senators Abdullahi Adamu, representing Nasarawa West from the APC and Suleiman Adokwe of the PDP were being touted as possible replacements of the Senate President to press time. 

Ahead of the expected judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, following yesterday’s commencement of his trial over false assets declaration when he held sway as governor of Kwara State, Senate President, Bukola Saraki may throw in the towel by resigning from his position any movement from now.

In other not to be humiliated while on the throne, some senators including those who had vowed to remain with him to the end of his trial at the anti-graft court, yesterday, asked the Senate President to consider the resignation option so as to save the Senate, as an institution. 

It was gathered that the option was thrown to him at a special meeting held by a group of some loyal senators, who followed him to his Maitama residence, shortly after the end of yesterday’s trial at the court. 

But as Saraki is considering the option, senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, appeared to be at loggerhead with their counterparts in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over the Senate President’s successor. 

While the APC senators are insisting on producing Saraki’s successor, those of the PDP are favorably disposed to anointing one of their own, a development that has further polarized the Red Chamber. 

A senator of the PDP fold, who spoke to Vanguard late yesterday, but on condition that his identity would not be mentioned, said Saraki was given the option of resigning basically to save the institution of the legislature. ‘”I can confirm to you that at a special meeting held yesterday, we asked the Senate President to consider the option of resignation. 

“We believe that doing so would preserve the institution of the Senate, “he said, refusing to speak further. Asked whether the Senate President was considering the resignation option, the lawmaker said ‘” this was just thrown at him this evening. We believe that he would do the right thing.'”. 

Meanwhile, names of senators Abdullahi Adamu, representing Nasarawa West from the APC and Suleiman Adokwe of the PDP were being touted as possible replacements of the Senate President to press time. 

Saraki Perfects Fresh Plan To Quash Trial At CCT Today, You'll Be Shocked At What He Did

Saraki Perfects Fresh Plan To Quash Trial At CCT Today, You'll Be Shocked At What He Did

Saraki
Punch Newspaper - The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has asked the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to order stay proceedings of his trial on charges of false and anticipatory asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Saraki filed the motion for stay of proceedings along with his nine-ground notice of appeal on Monday to stop his trial which begins at the CCT on Tuesday (today).

The notice of appeal was filed to challenge the ruling of the CCT which, on March 24, 2016, dismissed the Senate President’s application, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the charges against him.

The two-man panel of the CCT, led by Mr. Danladi Umar, had, after dismissing Saraki’s application on March 24, fixed April 5 (today) for the commencement of trial.

But the plan may be stalled by the fresh move initiated by the accused on the eve of the day his trial is scheduled to start.

Our correspondent confirmed on Monday night that both the notice of appeal and the motion for stay of proceedings were served on the tribunal and the prosecution on Monday.

Saraki’s application was argued by a consortium of about 80 lawyers, led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).

His earlier appeal, aimed at ending his trial, was terminated by a judgment of the Supreme Court on February 5, 2016, which ordered him to submit himself for trial.

The fresh appeal is challenging the CCT’s ruling, which had resolved all the issues raised by the Senate President against him and affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Saraki on 13 counts of false and anticipatory asset declaration, which he allegedly made in his four forms which he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau at the beginning and end of his first and second terms as the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

Umar, who read the ruling of the CCT dismissing Saraki’s application challenging his trial, had directed the prosecution to open its case.

In its ruling, the tribunal ruled that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the AGF was competent to institute charges before the CCT.

It ruled that Saraki’s contention that he was being illegally prosecuted for offences allegedly committed about 13 years ago was out of place.

The CCT chairman agreed with the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that the argument by Saraki that there must be an official complaint against him within a reasonable time of his submitting the declaration, was baseless.

The tribunal chairman held that there could be no clearance by implication unless it was expressly stated by the statute, noting that time never could never run against the state.

“It is not out of place to charge the accused person now and ask him to answer to the charges against him as there is no statute of limitation in relation to his case,” Umar said.

The tribunal also faulted Saraki’s reliance on its (CCT’s) earlier ruling, dismissing the charges against a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

Saraki had argued that under Section 3(d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act,  the CCB ought to have confronted him with the alleged infractions in his asset declaration forms before charges were instituted against him.

The Senate President is being prosecuted by the Federal Government for the alleged breaches in the four forms which he submitted to the CCB as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

He contended in his motion that the CCB’s failure to confront him with the alleged infractions had rendered the charges incompetent.

The CCT held that it had since realised that the ruling discharging Tinubu on the same grounds was made in error.

It ruled, “The accused persons relied on the decision of this tribunal in Federal Republic of Nigerian v. Bola Tinubu that was delivered on November 30, 2011. That decision was given per incuriam (given without following principles of law).”

He held that the provision of Paragraph 3(e) of Part I of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution had removed and omitted the proviso relied on by the Senate President.

“That proviso that is repeated in Section 3(d) of the CCB/T Act cannot be sustained any longer under the 1999 Constitution. The decision in Tinubu’s case was given per incuriam and the tribunal should not follow such a decision,” he said.

The tribunal chairman dismissed Saraki’s claim that he was denied fair hearing because he was not invited to make a written statement before the charges against him were filed.

 He held that the argument was premature and could be raised during the hearing of the substantive case.

“The motion by the defendant to quash the charge against him is refused. In the final analysis, the tribunal assumes jurisdiction in this case. The prosecution is to invite its witness,” Umar ruled.
Saraki
Punch Newspaper - The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has asked the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to order stay proceedings of his trial on charges of false and anticipatory asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Saraki filed the motion for stay of proceedings along with his nine-ground notice of appeal on Monday to stop his trial which begins at the CCT on Tuesday (today).

The notice of appeal was filed to challenge the ruling of the CCT which, on March 24, 2016, dismissed the Senate President’s application, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the charges against him.

The two-man panel of the CCT, led by Mr. Danladi Umar, had, after dismissing Saraki’s application on March 24, fixed April 5 (today) for the commencement of trial.

But the plan may be stalled by the fresh move initiated by the accused on the eve of the day his trial is scheduled to start.

Our correspondent confirmed on Monday night that both the notice of appeal and the motion for stay of proceedings were served on the tribunal and the prosecution on Monday.

Saraki’s application was argued by a consortium of about 80 lawyers, led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).

His earlier appeal, aimed at ending his trial, was terminated by a judgment of the Supreme Court on February 5, 2016, which ordered him to submit himself for trial.

The fresh appeal is challenging the CCT’s ruling, which had resolved all the issues raised by the Senate President against him and affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Saraki on 13 counts of false and anticipatory asset declaration, which he allegedly made in his four forms which he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau at the beginning and end of his first and second terms as the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

Umar, who read the ruling of the CCT dismissing Saraki’s application challenging his trial, had directed the prosecution to open its case.

In its ruling, the tribunal ruled that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the AGF was competent to institute charges before the CCT.

It ruled that Saraki’s contention that he was being illegally prosecuted for offences allegedly committed about 13 years ago was out of place.

The CCT chairman agreed with the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that the argument by Saraki that there must be an official complaint against him within a reasonable time of his submitting the declaration, was baseless.

The tribunal chairman held that there could be no clearance by implication unless it was expressly stated by the statute, noting that time never could never run against the state.

“It is not out of place to charge the accused person now and ask him to answer to the charges against him as there is no statute of limitation in relation to his case,” Umar said.

The tribunal also faulted Saraki’s reliance on its (CCT’s) earlier ruling, dismissing the charges against a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.

Saraki had argued that under Section 3(d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act,  the CCB ought to have confronted him with the alleged infractions in his asset declaration forms before charges were instituted against him.

The Senate President is being prosecuted by the Federal Government for the alleged breaches in the four forms which he submitted to the CCB as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

He contended in his motion that the CCB’s failure to confront him with the alleged infractions had rendered the charges incompetent.

The CCT held that it had since realised that the ruling discharging Tinubu on the same grounds was made in error.

It ruled, “The accused persons relied on the decision of this tribunal in Federal Republic of Nigerian v. Bola Tinubu that was delivered on November 30, 2011. That decision was given per incuriam (given without following principles of law).”

He held that the provision of Paragraph 3(e) of Part I of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution had removed and omitted the proviso relied on by the Senate President.

“That proviso that is repeated in Section 3(d) of the CCB/T Act cannot be sustained any longer under the 1999 Constitution. The decision in Tinubu’s case was given per incuriam and the tribunal should not follow such a decision,” he said.

The tribunal chairman dismissed Saraki’s claim that he was denied fair hearing because he was not invited to make a written statement before the charges against him were filed.

 He held that the argument was premature and could be raised during the hearing of the substantive case.

“The motion by the defendant to quash the charge against him is refused. In the final analysis, the tribunal assumes jurisdiction in this case. The prosecution is to invite its witness,” Umar ruled.

Intrigues As Kwara Senator, David Mark, Ekweremadu, Ndume, Others Eye Saraki's Seat At The Senate

Intrigues As Kwara Senator, David Mark, Ekweremadu, Ndume, Others Eye Saraki's Seat At The Senate

Daily Trust - High-level political machinations have commenced underground at the upper chamber of the National Assembly over who may eventually succeed Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President, as his trial over allegation of false assets declaration begins at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Daily Trust on Sunday digs into the unfolding battle for the coveted Number Three seat.

Ahead of the commencement of the trial of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on a 13-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets, his colleagues in the Senate have begun scheming for his possible replacement, Daily Trust on Sunday has gathered.

The move received a boost last week when the tribunal dismissed Saraki’s application, asking it to drop the charges, citing procedural errors.

The embattled Senate President had argued through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to invite him, as required by law, to explain the alleged discrepancies in his assets declaration form had invalidated the charges.

However, while giving its ruling on March 24, the tribunal dismissed the application, saying the CCB did not breach the law by filing charges at the CCT against Saraki. 

In the ruling, the tribunal’s chairman, Danladi Umar, held that the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 1989, allowed Saraki to raise his clarifications at the level of the tribunal. The ruling, therefore, set the stage for commencement of the trial, on one hand, and powerful plots, on the other. 

The Senate President had earlier lost an appeal at the Supreme Court, where he had gone trying to get the apex court to stop his trial at the CCT.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that soon after the verdict clearing the course for the trial, senators with interest in the Senate Presidency began strategizing on how to take over from Saraki, holding surreptitious meetings where they canvassed for the support of their colleagues.
The senators are gunning for the most coveted seat in the Red Chamber, believing that it is only a matter of time before it becomes vacant. 
The senators eyeing Saraki’s job, some lawmakers disclosed, are both from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which has the majority in the Upper Chamber, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has the second highest number of senators.

The possibility of the PDP making an attempt to clinch the position in the face of its minority status at the Senate first became obvious on Thursday, when its member representing Delta South and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, declared that the party would produce the next Senate President if Saraki is removed.

The plots 
Recently, there have been series of secret meetings by all camps at the Upper Chamber with the sole aim of producing a united front ahead of an expected post-Saraki era.

It was learnt that the APC caucus, which was facing sharp division, started its meeting with truce talks spearheaded by the former Governor of Sokoto, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.

The meeting, which started in the office of Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), succeeded in bringing key actors in the warring camps of the APC together.

In Saraki’s camp, Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zamfara West), Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central), Senator Wamakko and Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) attended the meetings. Senator Yarima nominated Saraki for the Senate Presidency last year. 

From the Ahmed Lawan’s Unity Forum camp, Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North), Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) and Senator Lawan (APC, Yobe North) participated in the meetings held four times at the residence of Wamakko in Abuja.

It was gathered that the APC senators were forced to cement their crack following the moves by the PDP senators to snatch the Senate Presidency seat from the APC.

It was further learnt that the PDP caucus has been holding marathon secret meetings on how to take over the Senate Presidency, with the final strategy meeting held outside the National Assembly on Wednesday, which had the party’s national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, in attendance.

Making public, for the first time, the agenda of the meetings, Senator Nwaboshi said they had perfected plans to produce the next Senate President if Saraki was forced out of the seat.

“If, but God forbid, because we don’t see it coming, by chance Saraki is removed, I can tell you that the PDP will produce the next Senate President. We only need three and we have it. The calculation is very clear to me. The calculation is very clear for PDP. We know what it will take us,” he said.

An analysis of the strength of the party at the Senate shows that the APC has 58 senators, PDP 44 and LP one in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central. Six seats are still vacant in the Red Chamber, as the reruns for six senatorial districts are yet to be conducted. At the inception of the Eighth Senate in June last year, APC had 59 and PDP 49, while one seat was vacant. 

PDP: We’ll Jump at It
Also opening up on the PDP quest to snatch the Senate Presidency, the former governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, said they would jump at the opportunity if Saraki was sacked. 

“We will jump at the opportunity and take the seat, since we have lost the Presidency. I didn’t attend the latest meeting on it, but we have the capacity to take it over because we are united,” he said in a phone chat. 

It was widely believed that the PDP members are planning to relaunch the party, which was defeated at the 2015 general elections, with the Senate Presidency.

The Contenders 
High ranking senators confided in Daily Trust on Sunday that five names are being touted by various camps in the Red Chamber as the likely successor of Saraki.

Abdullahi Adamu
Impeccable sources in the Like Minds camp supporting Saraki told our correspondent that they were weighing the option of Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) as Saraki’s likely successor.

Senator Adamu was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the PDP. He decamped to the APC in 2014 and is the chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture.

According to sources in the Like Minds group, the former governor was being considered for the job in order to retain the position in the North-Central geopolitical zone, where the current Senate president comes from. 
   
Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi
Another APC senator that the group is considering for the job is Senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi, representing Kwara North Senatorial District. Lafiagi’s name made the list because in addition to coming from the North-Central zone, he hails from the same Kwara State as Saraki and was said to be a beneficiary of the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara.

A prominent member of the Saraki’ camp told our correspondent that meetings were secretly being held at the residence of a former governor in Abuja.

“If I’m to be in Saraki’s shoes, I will resign and concentrate on my trial, but since he has not, we don’t want to be caught off guard, hence we are looking another way round,” he said.

The senator, who said the candidature of Adamu was being promoted by some former governors who are influential in the Senate, added that senators in another faction in the same Saraki camp were pushing for Lafiagi, with a view of retaining the position in Kwara State.

Ahmed Lawan
Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe North) who has been at the National Assembly since 1999 was the preferred candidate of the APC for the Senate plum job last year, but Saraki in alliance withPDP senators pushed him aside.

Members of the Lawan camp are relying heavily on the backing and support of the Presidency and that of the leadership of their party, especially the national leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

It was gathered that Saraki deferred the plan to suspend Senator Marafa from the Upper Chamber, following ‘warnings from the powers that be.’ The return of Senator George Akume (APC, Benue-Northwest) from a medical trip that lasted weeks has boosted the chances of the Lawan camp.
“The presidency is still with us because of the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue. Whether they like it or not, one day they will fall. We are watching as the trial progresses,” a senator in the camp said.

Ali Ndume
Another senator whose name is ringing bell in the Upper Chamber as a likely successor for Saraki is the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).

When the Senate was inaugurated in last June, Ndume contested for the deputy senate President seat, but he was defeated by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on the strength of PDP alliance with Saraki.

Sources told our correspondent that the continued re-echoing of Ndume’s name as a contender for the seat has upset the loyalists of Saraki who are seeing him as one of their own. Ndume, a second time senator, stepped up from the House of Representatives to the Upper Chamber in 2011.
Sources close to him said the Borno-born senator has his eyes set on the Senate Presidency.  

The chances of the duo of Lawan and Ndume are being hindered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who happened to be from Bauchi State in the North-East, the same geopolitical zone as the two.

Ike Ekweremadu
It was gathered that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, is said to be in the race. 

Ekweremadu is favoured by the ranking rules of the Senate.  He has been at the Upper Chamber since 2003 and Deputy Senate President since 2007. 
It was widely believed that Saraki rewarded the PDP with the Deputy Senate President seat following his alliance with them in June last year. 
Observers are of the view that the PDP is trying to repeat the Aminu Tambuwal’s episode of the House of Representatives that dealt a deadly blow to the party.

The return of the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark (PDP, Benue South) to the Red Chamber has brightened the chances of the PDP to clinch the post should it slip off Saraki’s hand.

Mark, aside from being the most ranking senator, was said to be a key player in the emergence of senate presidents since 1999. It is on record that he played immeasurable role in the emergence of Saraki.

Contrary to reports, our correspondent gathered that Mark is not interested in staging a comeback. 

Two APC senators from the North told our correspondent that they were trying to unite to deflate the plans of the PDP senators.

“We are fully aware of the plot of the PDP to take over the seat in case Saraki falls, but we are working to block them. We know their game plan and this is why we are trying to close our ranks for the benefit of our party and Nigerians in general who voted them out and brought us in,” an APC senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

When contacted, the Senate Leader, Ndume, said the Saraki issue was being overblown by the public. “Do you know that I am still in court on a more serious issue? The President of the Senate is in court for assets declaration, but I am in court for a more serious issue, that I am an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram

“I have been in court for four years, so why is it not an issue? I have not complained, it is not a big deal, I am still the Leader of the Senate and my role is as important as that of the President of the Senate, but it is not a big deal. Why are you making his case a big deal?” he said. 
On whether he was eyeing the seat or not, Ndume said “It is Allah that gives power and He gives it to whoever He deems fit and at anytime.”

Also, the spokesperson of the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, denied that other senators were coveting his boss’ seat, saying Saraki enjoyed the support of the overwhelming number of his colleagues.

“That is an old story which has been debunked by many leading senators. I refer you to the interview by Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. That is why he has continued to perform his duties unperturbed, even with the so much hyped CCT case, “he said.

Also, one of the aides of Senator Ekweremadu, who pleaded anonymity, described the report that his boss was jostling to succeed Saraki as an ‘APC scam and propaganda to keep pressure’ on the Senate President.

“My boss doesn’t even foresee Saraki’s removal, let alone jostle to succeed him,” he said.

Daily Trust - High-level political machinations have commenced underground at the upper chamber of the National Assembly over who may eventually succeed Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President, as his trial over allegation of false assets declaration begins at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Daily Trust on Sunday digs into the unfolding battle for the coveted Number Three seat.

Ahead of the commencement of the trial of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on a 13-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets, his colleagues in the Senate have begun scheming for his possible replacement, Daily Trust on Sunday has gathered.

The move received a boost last week when the tribunal dismissed Saraki’s application, asking it to drop the charges, citing procedural errors.

The embattled Senate President had argued through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to invite him, as required by law, to explain the alleged discrepancies in his assets declaration form had invalidated the charges.

However, while giving its ruling on March 24, the tribunal dismissed the application, saying the CCB did not breach the law by filing charges at the CCT against Saraki. 

In the ruling, the tribunal’s chairman, Danladi Umar, held that the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 1989, allowed Saraki to raise his clarifications at the level of the tribunal. The ruling, therefore, set the stage for commencement of the trial, on one hand, and powerful plots, on the other. 

The Senate President had earlier lost an appeal at the Supreme Court, where he had gone trying to get the apex court to stop his trial at the CCT.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that soon after the verdict clearing the course for the trial, senators with interest in the Senate Presidency began strategizing on how to take over from Saraki, holding surreptitious meetings where they canvassed for the support of their colleagues.
The senators are gunning for the most coveted seat in the Red Chamber, believing that it is only a matter of time before it becomes vacant. 
The senators eyeing Saraki’s job, some lawmakers disclosed, are both from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which has the majority in the Upper Chamber, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which has the second highest number of senators.

The possibility of the PDP making an attempt to clinch the position in the face of its minority status at the Senate first became obvious on Thursday, when its member representing Delta South and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, declared that the party would produce the next Senate President if Saraki is removed.

The plots 
Recently, there have been series of secret meetings by all camps at the Upper Chamber with the sole aim of producing a united front ahead of an expected post-Saraki era.

It was learnt that the APC caucus, which was facing sharp division, started its meeting with truce talks spearheaded by the former Governor of Sokoto, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.

The meeting, which started in the office of Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), succeeded in bringing key actors in the warring camps of the APC together.

In Saraki’s camp, Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zamfara West), Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central), Senator Wamakko and Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) attended the meetings. Senator Yarima nominated Saraki for the Senate Presidency last year. 

From the Ahmed Lawan’s Unity Forum camp, Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North), Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) and Senator Lawan (APC, Yobe North) participated in the meetings held four times at the residence of Wamakko in Abuja.

It was gathered that the APC senators were forced to cement their crack following the moves by the PDP senators to snatch the Senate Presidency seat from the APC.

It was further learnt that the PDP caucus has been holding marathon secret meetings on how to take over the Senate Presidency, with the final strategy meeting held outside the National Assembly on Wednesday, which had the party’s national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, in attendance.

Making public, for the first time, the agenda of the meetings, Senator Nwaboshi said they had perfected plans to produce the next Senate President if Saraki was forced out of the seat.

“If, but God forbid, because we don’t see it coming, by chance Saraki is removed, I can tell you that the PDP will produce the next Senate President. We only need three and we have it. The calculation is very clear to me. The calculation is very clear for PDP. We know what it will take us,” he said.

An analysis of the strength of the party at the Senate shows that the APC has 58 senators, PDP 44 and LP one in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central. Six seats are still vacant in the Red Chamber, as the reruns for six senatorial districts are yet to be conducted. At the inception of the Eighth Senate in June last year, APC had 59 and PDP 49, while one seat was vacant. 

PDP: We’ll Jump at It
Also opening up on the PDP quest to snatch the Senate Presidency, the former governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, said they would jump at the opportunity if Saraki was sacked. 

“We will jump at the opportunity and take the seat, since we have lost the Presidency. I didn’t attend the latest meeting on it, but we have the capacity to take it over because we are united,” he said in a phone chat. 

It was widely believed that the PDP members are planning to relaunch the party, which was defeated at the 2015 general elections, with the Senate Presidency.

The Contenders 
High ranking senators confided in Daily Trust on Sunday that five names are being touted by various camps in the Red Chamber as the likely successor of Saraki.

Abdullahi Adamu
Impeccable sources in the Like Minds camp supporting Saraki told our correspondent that they were weighing the option of Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) as Saraki’s likely successor.

Senator Adamu was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the PDP. He decamped to the APC in 2014 and is the chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture.

According to sources in the Like Minds group, the former governor was being considered for the job in order to retain the position in the North-Central geopolitical zone, where the current Senate president comes from. 
   
Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi
Another APC senator that the group is considering for the job is Senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi, representing Kwara North Senatorial District. Lafiagi’s name made the list because in addition to coming from the North-Central zone, he hails from the same Kwara State as Saraki and was said to be a beneficiary of the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara.

A prominent member of the Saraki’ camp told our correspondent that meetings were secretly being held at the residence of a former governor in Abuja.

“If I’m to be in Saraki’s shoes, I will resign and concentrate on my trial, but since he has not, we don’t want to be caught off guard, hence we are looking another way round,” he said.

The senator, who said the candidature of Adamu was being promoted by some former governors who are influential in the Senate, added that senators in another faction in the same Saraki camp were pushing for Lafiagi, with a view of retaining the position in Kwara State.

Ahmed Lawan
Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe North) who has been at the National Assembly since 1999 was the preferred candidate of the APC for the Senate plum job last year, but Saraki in alliance withPDP senators pushed him aside.

Members of the Lawan camp are relying heavily on the backing and support of the Presidency and that of the leadership of their party, especially the national leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

It was gathered that Saraki deferred the plan to suspend Senator Marafa from the Upper Chamber, following ‘warnings from the powers that be.’ The return of Senator George Akume (APC, Benue-Northwest) from a medical trip that lasted weeks has boosted the chances of the Lawan camp.
“The presidency is still with us because of the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue. Whether they like it or not, one day they will fall. We are watching as the trial progresses,” a senator in the camp said.

Ali Ndume
Another senator whose name is ringing bell in the Upper Chamber as a likely successor for Saraki is the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).

When the Senate was inaugurated in last June, Ndume contested for the deputy senate President seat, but he was defeated by Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on the strength of PDP alliance with Saraki.

Sources told our correspondent that the continued re-echoing of Ndume’s name as a contender for the seat has upset the loyalists of Saraki who are seeing him as one of their own. Ndume, a second time senator, stepped up from the House of Representatives to the Upper Chamber in 2011.
Sources close to him said the Borno-born senator has his eyes set on the Senate Presidency.  

The chances of the duo of Lawan and Ndume are being hindered by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who happened to be from Bauchi State in the North-East, the same geopolitical zone as the two.

Ike Ekweremadu
It was gathered that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, is said to be in the race. 

Ekweremadu is favoured by the ranking rules of the Senate.  He has been at the Upper Chamber since 2003 and Deputy Senate President since 2007. 
It was widely believed that Saraki rewarded the PDP with the Deputy Senate President seat following his alliance with them in June last year. 
Observers are of the view that the PDP is trying to repeat the Aminu Tambuwal’s episode of the House of Representatives that dealt a deadly blow to the party.

The return of the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark (PDP, Benue South) to the Red Chamber has brightened the chances of the PDP to clinch the post should it slip off Saraki’s hand.

Mark, aside from being the most ranking senator, was said to be a key player in the emergence of senate presidents since 1999. It is on record that he played immeasurable role in the emergence of Saraki.

Contrary to reports, our correspondent gathered that Mark is not interested in staging a comeback. 

Two APC senators from the North told our correspondent that they were trying to unite to deflate the plans of the PDP senators.

“We are fully aware of the plot of the PDP to take over the seat in case Saraki falls, but we are working to block them. We know their game plan and this is why we are trying to close our ranks for the benefit of our party and Nigerians in general who voted them out and brought us in,” an APC senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

When contacted, the Senate Leader, Ndume, said the Saraki issue was being overblown by the public. “Do you know that I am still in court on a more serious issue? The President of the Senate is in court for assets declaration, but I am in court for a more serious issue, that I am an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram

“I have been in court for four years, so why is it not an issue? I have not complained, it is not a big deal, I am still the Leader of the Senate and my role is as important as that of the President of the Senate, but it is not a big deal. Why are you making his case a big deal?” he said. 
On whether he was eyeing the seat or not, Ndume said “It is Allah that gives power and He gives it to whoever He deems fit and at anytime.”

Also, the spokesperson of the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, denied that other senators were coveting his boss’ seat, saying Saraki enjoyed the support of the overwhelming number of his colleagues.

“That is an old story which has been debunked by many leading senators. I refer you to the interview by Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. That is why he has continued to perform his duties unperturbed, even with the so much hyped CCT case, “he said.

Also, one of the aides of Senator Ekweremadu, who pleaded anonymity, described the report that his boss was jostling to succeed Saraki as an ‘APC scam and propaganda to keep pressure’ on the Senate President.

“My boss doesn’t even foresee Saraki’s removal, let alone jostle to succeed him,” he said.

APC Senators Peace Talks Upset Saraki's PDP Alliance

APC Senators Peace Talks Upset Saraki's PDP Alliance

APC Senators Peace Talks Upsets Saraki's PDP Alliance
The ongoing peace talks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate caucus have upset the alliance of the Senate president Bukola Saraki with the senators of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Resting on the strength of the PDP on June 9 last year, Saraki emerged the Senate president against the wish of the APC leadership. His party had preferred Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North) but he dribbled the party to clinch the seat. As at then, the APC had 59 and the PDP had 49 senators.

Since then, it has been from one crisis to the other for the Senate president, the heir of the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara State. The crisis was solely in the caucus of the APC as the PDP were united.

Apparently, to settle the PDP senators for their support towards his emergence, Saraki rewarded them with committees considered to be juicier than the ones allocated to members of his party, excluding the former governors.

It was in November last year that he constituted the committees and gave APC 41 and PDP 24. Specifically, it was gathered that Saraki jerked up the committees from 57 to 65 without amending the Senate standing rules, to accommodate his supporters.

Not satisfied with the constitution of the committees, spokesman of the Unity Forum of Lawan, Senator Kabiru Marafa, kicked against the increase in the number of committees, saying it was done in violation of their rules.

Until three weeks ago, the APC Senate caucus has been in red with the Lawan’s camp dishing out missiles at intervals. 

For instance, when Saraki lost his bid to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Marafa apparently acting the script of his camp called for the resignation of Senate president.

Saraki is facing a 13-count charge at the CCT bordering on false assets declaration while he was governor of Kwara State. Though, members of Saraki’s camp have reaffirmed their support for him, the call for his resignation caused uproar at the National Assembly.

The feud in the APC camp almost led to the suspension of one of the party’s senators. Marafa’s case at the ethics, privileges and public petitions committee is still hanging. The committee has recommended his suspension.

Realising the danger of the crack in their fold, three weeks ago, the APC caucus began a truce moves. Before the start of the peace talks, there were reports that the Senate presidency could be hijacked by the PDP in case Saraki falls.

The APC talks started from the office of a ranking senator from the north with key players of the two camps in attendance. The truce talks have since then become regular with former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko playing a lead role.
Sources told our correspondent that five people have been elected from each of the camps.

The Saraki camp is being represented by Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zamfara West), Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), Adamu Aliero ( Kebbi Central), Wamakko and Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe central).

The Lawan camp, Unity Forum, was represented by Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi(APC, Kaduna North), Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) and Lawan (APC, Yobe North).

It was gathered that at the meeting of truce committee held at the Abuja residence of Wamakko, the camps unanimously agreed to amend the Senate standing orders to reflect the eight newly created committees.

Also, the truce committee has agreed that the composition of the 65 committees be reviewed to accommodate APC senators that were sidelined in the present arrangement.

Wamakko and Marafa have since confirmed the ongoing truce talk, and said it was in the interest of their party and the generality of Nigerians.
With the accord, our correspondent reports that some of the committees allocated to the PDP senators may be taken and reallocated to the APC senators.

A senator from Lawan’s camp told our correspondent that they are planning to complete the truce talk before the end of the Easter break.

“We have agreed to legalise the newly created committees. We also agreed to adjust the membership of the committees to carry members of our party along. We are yet to finalise talks on the last condition which is to respect our party’s position,” he said.

One of the senators in Saraki’s camp who attended the meeting told our correspondent that the truce move was yielding the desired result.
“If you look at the Senate now, you will appreciate the importance of our truce talks. It is our party that Nigerians voted for and not the PDP, so we will not allow them to hijack our success,” he said.

To counter the APC moves, the PDP senators on Wednesday through Thursday had marathon meetings where the issue and others were discussed. The PDP National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff attended the first leg of the PDP Senate caucus.

One of the senators that attended the meeting said they reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of their party.
“You know the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, is our political armoury and arsenal. We will utilise it very well to launch our party,” a senator from the southeast said.

But in a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, said INEC had no reason whatsoever to withhold the results of Rivers State rerun elections, where three senatorial seats are being contested. 
The PDP senators also called on President Muhammadu  Buhari  to support the ongoing commission of enquiry investigating the killings in the Rivers re-run elections with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice .

The communique reads: “The caucus noted the reports from the just concluded rerun elections in Rivers State, particularly the declaration of results in units, wards and local government collation centres and resolved accordingly:

“That lNEC should as a matter of urgency, release the outstanding results in the Rivers State rerun elections particularly results that were collated from all polling units/wards/local government areas in their possession with immediate effect.”
How APC, PDP stand at Senate

Our correspondent reports that at the inception of the Senate in June last year, the APC had firm control of the upper chamber with 59, PDP 48 senators and the seat of Borno Central was vacant.

The parties maintained the number until in November when Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai was sworn for the Borno Central senatorial district, thus APC added one, making 60.

It was observed that the nullification of some senatorial district elections in November and December gave PDP an upper hand at the red chamber.

In the north, the PDP won two senatorial seats in Nasarawa South and Kogi Central, while the APC only got one, Taraba Central.

At the moment, the APC has 58, PDP 44 and LP has a senator in the person of Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central. The re-run for six senatorial districts are being conducted.

Excerpted from Daily Trust

APC Senators Peace Talks Upsets Saraki's PDP Alliance
The ongoing peace talks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate caucus have upset the alliance of the Senate president Bukola Saraki with the senators of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Resting on the strength of the PDP on June 9 last year, Saraki emerged the Senate president against the wish of the APC leadership. His party had preferred Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North) but he dribbled the party to clinch the seat. As at then, the APC had 59 and the PDP had 49 senators.

Since then, it has been from one crisis to the other for the Senate president, the heir of the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara State. The crisis was solely in the caucus of the APC as the PDP were united.

Apparently, to settle the PDP senators for their support towards his emergence, Saraki rewarded them with committees considered to be juicier than the ones allocated to members of his party, excluding the former governors.

It was in November last year that he constituted the committees and gave APC 41 and PDP 24. Specifically, it was gathered that Saraki jerked up the committees from 57 to 65 without amending the Senate standing rules, to accommodate his supporters.

Not satisfied with the constitution of the committees, spokesman of the Unity Forum of Lawan, Senator Kabiru Marafa, kicked against the increase in the number of committees, saying it was done in violation of their rules.

Until three weeks ago, the APC Senate caucus has been in red with the Lawan’s camp dishing out missiles at intervals. 

For instance, when Saraki lost his bid to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Marafa apparently acting the script of his camp called for the resignation of Senate president.

Saraki is facing a 13-count charge at the CCT bordering on false assets declaration while he was governor of Kwara State. Though, members of Saraki’s camp have reaffirmed their support for him, the call for his resignation caused uproar at the National Assembly.

The feud in the APC camp almost led to the suspension of one of the party’s senators. Marafa’s case at the ethics, privileges and public petitions committee is still hanging. The committee has recommended his suspension.

Realising the danger of the crack in their fold, three weeks ago, the APC caucus began a truce moves. Before the start of the peace talks, there were reports that the Senate presidency could be hijacked by the PDP in case Saraki falls.

The APC talks started from the office of a ranking senator from the north with key players of the two camps in attendance. The truce talks have since then become regular with former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko playing a lead role.
Sources told our correspondent that five people have been elected from each of the camps.

The Saraki camp is being represented by Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zamfara West), Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), Adamu Aliero ( Kebbi Central), Wamakko and Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe central).

The Lawan camp, Unity Forum, was represented by Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi(APC, Kaduna North), Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) and Lawan (APC, Yobe North).

It was gathered that at the meeting of truce committee held at the Abuja residence of Wamakko, the camps unanimously agreed to amend the Senate standing orders to reflect the eight newly created committees.

Also, the truce committee has agreed that the composition of the 65 committees be reviewed to accommodate APC senators that were sidelined in the present arrangement.

Wamakko and Marafa have since confirmed the ongoing truce talk, and said it was in the interest of their party and the generality of Nigerians.
With the accord, our correspondent reports that some of the committees allocated to the PDP senators may be taken and reallocated to the APC senators.

A senator from Lawan’s camp told our correspondent that they are planning to complete the truce talk before the end of the Easter break.

“We have agreed to legalise the newly created committees. We also agreed to adjust the membership of the committees to carry members of our party along. We are yet to finalise talks on the last condition which is to respect our party’s position,” he said.

One of the senators in Saraki’s camp who attended the meeting told our correspondent that the truce move was yielding the desired result.
“If you look at the Senate now, you will appreciate the importance of our truce talks. It is our party that Nigerians voted for and not the PDP, so we will not allow them to hijack our success,” he said.

To counter the APC moves, the PDP senators on Wednesday through Thursday had marathon meetings where the issue and others were discussed. The PDP National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff attended the first leg of the PDP Senate caucus.

One of the senators that attended the meeting said they reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of their party.
“You know the National Assembly, particularly the Senate, is our political armoury and arsenal. We will utilise it very well to launch our party,” a senator from the southeast said.

But in a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, said INEC had no reason whatsoever to withhold the results of Rivers State rerun elections, where three senatorial seats are being contested. 
The PDP senators also called on President Muhammadu  Buhari  to support the ongoing commission of enquiry investigating the killings in the Rivers re-run elections with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice .

The communique reads: “The caucus noted the reports from the just concluded rerun elections in Rivers State, particularly the declaration of results in units, wards and local government collation centres and resolved accordingly:

“That lNEC should as a matter of urgency, release the outstanding results in the Rivers State rerun elections particularly results that were collated from all polling units/wards/local government areas in their possession with immediate effect.”
How APC, PDP stand at Senate

Our correspondent reports that at the inception of the Senate in June last year, the APC had firm control of the upper chamber with 59, PDP 48 senators and the seat of Borno Central was vacant.

The parties maintained the number until in November when Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai was sworn for the Borno Central senatorial district, thus APC added one, making 60.

It was observed that the nullification of some senatorial district elections in November and December gave PDP an upper hand at the red chamber.

In the north, the PDP won two senatorial seats in Nasarawa South and Kogi Central, while the APC only got one, Taraba Central.

At the moment, the APC has 58, PDP 44 and LP has a senator in the person of Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central. The re-run for six senatorial districts are being conducted.

Excerpted from Daily Trust

Battle Against Saraki Still On - Lawan Group Denies Peace Pact

Battle Against Saraki Still On - Lawan Group Denies Peace Pact

saraki
Premium Times - A prominent member of a group of senators opposed to the election of Bukola Saraki as Senate President, has denied that a meeting between his group and supporters of Mr. Saraki, Wednesday, sought to canvass support for the embattled senate leader who is a facing corruption trial.

Kabiru Marafa, the spokesperson of the so-called Unity Forum, said the meeting with the Like Minds group was beyond Mr. Saraki, and was about forging a united All Progressives Congress, APC.

The meeting was rare given the antagonistic past of the two sides. Held at the Asokoro residence of Aliyu Wammakko, a former Sokoto State governor, the meeting had in attendance 10 senators – five from each of the two camps.

Mr. Wammakko had told PREMIUM TIMES “the meeting has brought an end to crisis in the Senate between APC Senators who now support the Senate President, Bukola Saraki”.

A member of the anti-Saraki group also told PREMIUM TIMES they had given conditions for reconciliation. One of the demands was the reconstitution of senate committees in favour of APC senators.

But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, Mr. Marafa said the meeting was not convened to “rally around Saraki”.

“What brought about the meeting at Senator Wamakko’s residence was the realization that we the APC Supporters should unite in the interest of our party and the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari,” Mr. Marafa said.

He said in view of Mr. Saraki’s trial the Code of Conduct Tribunal, it was imperative for APC Senators to unite and bury their differences to forestall a situation where PDP will take over the Senate Presidency should Mr. Saraki lose.

Mr. Marafa confirmed that the meeting agreed that the composition of the committees be reviewed.

“Our committees are illegal; so, it is agreed that they will now be according to the law,” he said.

Also, the issue of members of the Unity Forum who were “disenfranchised” in the composition of the committees would be addressed, Mr. Marafa said, adding that “and number three, we should be united and work together as one party because of our party and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

“Burying our differences to work together as one or saying no more crisis with our colleagues who supported Saraki is not same as saying we backed down and rallied around the Senate President at this time,” Mr. Marafa in reaction to PREMIUM TIMES’ earlier report on the meeting.

“That is capable of damaging my reputation and character. I have been receiving calls since morning from everywhere from people asking if we were abandoning the struggle.

“I would have made all the money in the course of this fight. I would have got any committee I wanted. But we have stayed firm. So, why will I now announce rallying around Saraki?

“The meeting is about our party and government, not anybody,” Mr. Marafa said.
saraki
Premium Times - A prominent member of a group of senators opposed to the election of Bukola Saraki as Senate President, has denied that a meeting between his group and supporters of Mr. Saraki, Wednesday, sought to canvass support for the embattled senate leader who is a facing corruption trial.

Kabiru Marafa, the spokesperson of the so-called Unity Forum, said the meeting with the Like Minds group was beyond Mr. Saraki, and was about forging a united All Progressives Congress, APC.

The meeting was rare given the antagonistic past of the two sides. Held at the Asokoro residence of Aliyu Wammakko, a former Sokoto State governor, the meeting had in attendance 10 senators – five from each of the two camps.

Mr. Wammakko had told PREMIUM TIMES “the meeting has brought an end to crisis in the Senate between APC Senators who now support the Senate President, Bukola Saraki”.

A member of the anti-Saraki group also told PREMIUM TIMES they had given conditions for reconciliation. One of the demands was the reconstitution of senate committees in favour of APC senators.

But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, Mr. Marafa said the meeting was not convened to “rally around Saraki”.

“What brought about the meeting at Senator Wamakko’s residence was the realization that we the APC Supporters should unite in the interest of our party and the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari,” Mr. Marafa said.

He said in view of Mr. Saraki’s trial the Code of Conduct Tribunal, it was imperative for APC Senators to unite and bury their differences to forestall a situation where PDP will take over the Senate Presidency should Mr. Saraki lose.

Mr. Marafa confirmed that the meeting agreed that the composition of the committees be reviewed.

“Our committees are illegal; so, it is agreed that they will now be according to the law,” he said.

Also, the issue of members of the Unity Forum who were “disenfranchised” in the composition of the committees would be addressed, Mr. Marafa said, adding that “and number three, we should be united and work together as one party because of our party and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

“Burying our differences to work together as one or saying no more crisis with our colleagues who supported Saraki is not same as saying we backed down and rallied around the Senate President at this time,” Mr. Marafa in reaction to PREMIUM TIMES’ earlier report on the meeting.

“That is capable of damaging my reputation and character. I have been receiving calls since morning from everywhere from people asking if we were abandoning the struggle.

“I would have made all the money in the course of this fight. I would have got any committee I wanted. But we have stayed firm. So, why will I now announce rallying around Saraki?

“The meeting is about our party and government, not anybody,” Mr. Marafa said.

CCT Trial: FG In Dilemma, May Withdraw Suit Against Saraki

CCT Trial: FG In Dilemma, May Withdraw Suit Against Saraki

buhari saraki
The prosecution in the ongoing trial of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, appears to have run into fresh dilemma following the release of a legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice, which faulted the procedure for initiating prosecutions at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The legal opinion, which was originally released in respect of the case filed against the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe and which informed the withdrawal of the suit against the former minister at the CCT, had indicated that failure of the prosecution to obtain a statement from the suspects before filing that case was highly detrimental to the success of the suit.

Sources at the ministry confirmed that in line with the legal advice, the government, last week, withdrew the suit bordering on false asset declaration against Orubebe.

Sources confirmed that the decision to withdraw the charges was based on a legal advice from the Federal Ministry of Justice. in which it was strongly canvassed that the case against Orubebe as presently constructed and filed was fundamentally defective.

The Legal Advice issued by the Ministry of Justice, according to sources, was to the effect that since Orubebe was not invited to make a statement before he was dragged to the trial, the process might have negated the provisions of Section 379 (1) (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The section lists prerequisites for embarking on criminal trial, indicating that one of the main items is the “copies of statements of the defendant.”

The Act also mentioned other ingredients of a trial to include the list of witnesses; list of exhibits to be tendered; summary of statements of the witnesses; copies of statement of the defendant, as well as other documents, report, or material that the prosecution intends to rely on for the prosecution.

The new criminal administration law also indicates that the prosecution must produce particulars of bail or bond, particulars of place of custody, particulars of plea bargain arranged and particulars of any previous interlocutory or remand proceedings in respect of the charge.

Legal luminaries at the Ministry of Justice were said to have told the Federal Government that without the statement of the defendant, the case could easily run into a hitch, adding that a similar situation led to the striking out of the suit filed against former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, in 2012.

A source had said: “That case against Saraki is already being encumbered by emerging details. The withdrawal of the suit against Orubebe is a clear pointer to the contents of a legal opinion in the Ministry of Justice, having looked at the contents of the Administration of Justice Act 2015.

Saraki’s counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, had also last week, argued before the CCT that the Senate President’s case should be handled the same way as that of Tinubu, who was discharged on the basis of the failure of the CCT to invite him for his statement before the trial.

Agabi had told the CCT last week that panel that the case against Saraki was flawed since the Senate President was not invited to clarify issues concerning his asset declaration form before he was charged before the CCT.

He had submitted that the failure of the CCT to act on the asset declaration forms of Saraki for 13 years should constitute a peril to the suit.
He told the court: “If for any reason, the defendant has committed any offence he should be informed. The defendant has not been given any opportunity to defend himself against the charges. The AGF has no jurisdiction to prefer the charges and, therefore, the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear it. 

“Under our constitution, the moment a man comes under justifiable suspicion, he must be informed promptly of the reasons for the suspicion.”

buhari saraki
The prosecution in the ongoing trial of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, appears to have run into fresh dilemma following the release of a legal opinion from the Ministry of Justice, which faulted the procedure for initiating prosecutions at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The legal opinion, which was originally released in respect of the case filed against the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe and which informed the withdrawal of the suit against the former minister at the CCT, had indicated that failure of the prosecution to obtain a statement from the suspects before filing that case was highly detrimental to the success of the suit.

Sources at the ministry confirmed that in line with the legal advice, the government, last week, withdrew the suit bordering on false asset declaration against Orubebe.

Sources confirmed that the decision to withdraw the charges was based on a legal advice from the Federal Ministry of Justice. in which it was strongly canvassed that the case against Orubebe as presently constructed and filed was fundamentally defective.

The Legal Advice issued by the Ministry of Justice, according to sources, was to the effect that since Orubebe was not invited to make a statement before he was dragged to the trial, the process might have negated the provisions of Section 379 (1) (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

The section lists prerequisites for embarking on criminal trial, indicating that one of the main items is the “copies of statements of the defendant.”

The Act also mentioned other ingredients of a trial to include the list of witnesses; list of exhibits to be tendered; summary of statements of the witnesses; copies of statement of the defendant, as well as other documents, report, or material that the prosecution intends to rely on for the prosecution.

The new criminal administration law also indicates that the prosecution must produce particulars of bail or bond, particulars of place of custody, particulars of plea bargain arranged and particulars of any previous interlocutory or remand proceedings in respect of the charge.

Legal luminaries at the Ministry of Justice were said to have told the Federal Government that without the statement of the defendant, the case could easily run into a hitch, adding that a similar situation led to the striking out of the suit filed against former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, in 2012.

A source had said: “That case against Saraki is already being encumbered by emerging details. The withdrawal of the suit against Orubebe is a clear pointer to the contents of a legal opinion in the Ministry of Justice, having looked at the contents of the Administration of Justice Act 2015.

Saraki’s counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, had also last week, argued before the CCT that the Senate President’s case should be handled the same way as that of Tinubu, who was discharged on the basis of the failure of the CCT to invite him for his statement before the trial.

Agabi had told the CCT last week that panel that the case against Saraki was flawed since the Senate President was not invited to clarify issues concerning his asset declaration form before he was charged before the CCT.

He had submitted that the failure of the CCT to act on the asset declaration forms of Saraki for 13 years should constitute a peril to the suit.
He told the court: “If for any reason, the defendant has committed any offence he should be informed. The defendant has not been given any opportunity to defend himself against the charges. The AGF has no jurisdiction to prefer the charges and, therefore, the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear it. 

“Under our constitution, the moment a man comes under justifiable suspicion, he must be informed promptly of the reasons for the suspicion.”

BREAKING: Saraki Wins First Battle Over CCT Trial

BREAKING: Saraki Wins First Battle Over CCT Trial

Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki, won the first part of his battle to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, by letting tribunal hear his motion over jurisdiction.

Government lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs told the Tribunal he has been served with defendants motion dated 4 March, 2015.

But he argued that going by sections 220, 221 and 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the motion cannot be moved before beginning of hearing of the substantive case.

“The only thing the court can do now is to proceed to trial. I want Your Lordship to determine the issue now,” Jacobs said. He further explained that the of ACJA stipulated that technical objections cannot be raised during trial.

He added section 396 (2) said after a plea has been taken, the defendant can raise any objection which can only be considered alongside the substantive trial.

According to him, the defendant is challenging the validity of the charges by saying the Attorney General did not have power to filed charges against him or that he was not informed before the charges were filed against him.

Jacobs urged the Tribunal to enforce the ACJA to ensure that justice is done according to the law. Jacob said the court should allow the prosecution to call his witness.

Kanu Agabi, for Saraki said the defence is happy to be in court and the opportunity to defend him.

He argued that motion is part of administration of justice and the Tribunal should hear it.

He reminded the Tribunal Chairman that he ruled last Friday that the motion would be argued today.

The defence counsel said the motion is challenging the juridisction of the tribunal to hear the case.

Justice Umar however ruled that he is ready to hear the motion as anything done by the Tribunal without determination of the issue of juridisction will be nullity.

Agabi is about to move the motion now.

Source: PM News
Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki, won the first part of his battle to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, by letting tribunal hear his motion over jurisdiction.

Government lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs told the Tribunal he has been served with defendants motion dated 4 March, 2015.

But he argued that going by sections 220, 221 and 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the motion cannot be moved before beginning of hearing of the substantive case.

“The only thing the court can do now is to proceed to trial. I want Your Lordship to determine the issue now,” Jacobs said. He further explained that the of ACJA stipulated that technical objections cannot be raised during trial.

He added section 396 (2) said after a plea has been taken, the defendant can raise any objection which can only be considered alongside the substantive trial.

According to him, the defendant is challenging the validity of the charges by saying the Attorney General did not have power to filed charges against him or that he was not informed before the charges were filed against him.

Jacobs urged the Tribunal to enforce the ACJA to ensure that justice is done according to the law. Jacob said the court should allow the prosecution to call his witness.

Kanu Agabi, for Saraki said the defence is happy to be in court and the opportunity to defend him.

He argued that motion is part of administration of justice and the Tribunal should hear it.

He reminded the Tribunal Chairman that he ruled last Friday that the motion would be argued today.

The defence counsel said the motion is challenging the juridisction of the tribunal to hear the case.

Justice Umar however ruled that he is ready to hear the motion as anything done by the Tribunal without determination of the issue of juridisction will be nullity.

Agabi is about to move the motion now.

Source: PM News

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