As the controversy surrounding the alleged forgery of the senate standing order by Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu lingers on, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir Lawal, in a statement he signed and released yesterday June 29th, asked the principal officers of the Senate to resign their positions or go and face trial peacefully.
Babachir likened Saraki and Ekweremadu’s trial to that of a former Speaker of the House of Reps who resigned from office after he was found guilty of certificate forgery. Part of his statement reads
“Since the arraignment of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki and, his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, before the Federal High Court on Monday, June 27, 2016, the two leaders of the Senate have issued two separate press statements conveying messages that are far from being complementary to the person and government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Saraki, in his statement, clearly insinuated that Mr President is not in control of his administration and that a cabal now runs the federal administration. On the part of Senator Ekweremadu, he insists that President Buhari is exhibiting dictatorial tendencies that can derail our democracy. From their statements, the two leaders of the Senate also gave this erroneous impression that by their arraignment, it is the entire Senate and indeed, the legislative arm of government that is on trial.
They want the public to believe that their prosecution is utter disregard by the executive arm of government for the constitutional provisions of separation of powers and that preferring the forgery case against them is a vendetta exercise. Since this case is in court, the judiciary should be allowed to do its job.
However, it is important to emphasise that this case involves only the four accused persons and should not be presented to the unsuspecting public as involving the entire Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The complaint leading to the forgery investigation was reported to the police by some aggrieved senators, who specifically accused certain persons. It is not the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that is involved and definitely not the House of Representatives. To bring the national assembly as a body into this court case is totally unwarranted. It can only be for other purposes and reasons outside the investigation and legal proceedings.
A case of forgery is usually preferred against individuals. This is not different. As was the case with a former speaker of the House of Representatives, who was accused of certificate forgery, what he did was to resign, honourably. The matter did not even go to court. In that particular case, it was never orchestrated as a matter for the National Assembly. The individual involved did not drag the entire legislature into the matter.”he said