In a statement released late yesterday, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, alleged that the President Buhari-led government was planning to get the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others remanded in Kuje prison as they’re set to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja today.
The senate spokesman who spoke over the FG’s alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015 on the lawmakers, said the case was an attempt by the executive to muzzle the legislature and criminalise legislative processes, adding that the aim was to cause leadership change in the National Assembly.
“We are compelled to alert the good people of Nigeria and the international community, that our democracy is in danger,” he said.
He warned of a return to the era of impunity and lack of respect for due process even as he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to order.
Abdullahi stressed that the Senate voted freely to elect its leadership into office and that the ‘continuing attempts to change that leadership through the wanton abuse of judicial processes cannot stand in the eyes of the world.’
He accused the Attorney General and some unnamed party leaders for being behind the current action, pointing out that they either lacked the understanding of the principles of separation of powers or cared not about the survival of present democracy.
“We are in a state of economic emergency such that what the National Assembly needs at this time are executive bills and proposals aimed at resolving the crises of unemployment, currency depreciation, inflation, crime and insecurity.
“Instead, we are getting hostile actions aimed at destabilising the National Assembly, distracting Senators from their oversight functions and ensuring good and accountable governance.
“Or how does one interpret a move in which the two presiding officers are being set up to be remanded in Kuje Prison or incapacitated from sitting at plenary through a day-to-day trial on a matter that is purely an internal affair of the Senate.
“The move against the two presiding officers were clearly a coup against the legislature” and a plan to return Nigeria to the era of dictatorship.
“The Rules of the Senate and how the institution elects its leadership are internal affairs. It has always been so since 1999. After the inauguration of the Senate, if Senators have objections to any part of the Rules, they can follow the procedure for changing it.
“Senators of the Eighth Senate have no control on the rules applied in the elections of June 9, 2015 because until after their inauguration, they were only Senators-elect and therefore mere bystanders in the affairs of the Senate,” he said.