The presidency has also denied that President Buhari had a hand in the trvails of Dr. Saraki as has been insinuated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and some other pro- Saraki groups, insisting that the issues at stake were entirely judicial.
However, the Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union (IEDPU) has described the charges brought against the Senate President at the CCT and the warrant of arrest issued against him by the Tribunal for failure to appear to answer to the charges as purely politically motivated
The Code of Conduct Tribunal had on Friday issued a warrant of arrest on the Senate President who earlier failed to appear before it.
The Senate President is facing charges bordering on false and anticipatory declaration of assets and Chief Olisa Metuh, Spokesman for the PDP had pointedly alleged that he was being hounded by the Presidency for running for the Senate Presidency in defiance of his party, the APC’s preference.
Malam Garba Shehu the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, however, said in a statement on Sunday that such insinuations were uninformed, advising that the matter, which he stressed is judicial should be tackled as such.
He said that views to the effect that the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB and the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT can only act upon external instigation are baseless, stressing that “There is no place in law that says the Bureau and the Tribunal should take instructions from any quarters.
“As an independent institution equal to any superior court of record, the Tribunal is set up by the constitution to determine the issue of default, false declaration or forgery in assets declaration. This therefore is purely a judicial process and has nothing to do with the presidency.
“If anyone has an axe to grind with what they are doing, they should do it in a judicial manner by challenging those actions in a proper court of law. Let them hire a good team of lawyers to prove their innocence,” he said.
Shehu added that “Government has no desire to persecute anybody. The President has vowed to respect the rule of law and this is what he is doing by staying out of this matter. He has said times without number that the war against corruption has no sacred cows. Even if the President wants to help, there is no way he can do anything. Is he going to ask the judge to stop the trial?
It is purely a judicial process, the type of which is routinely dealt with by the CCB and the CCT. There are many cases like this that are going on. The President has sworn to an oath to protect the constitution and will not violate that oath,” he insisted.
But speaking in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin on the recent visit of the body to Senator Saraki at the National Assembly complex, Abuja, the National President of the IEDPU, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi wondered why the Code of Conduct Bureau failed to raise any issue concerning the Senate President’s asset declaration forms since 2003.
According to him, the twelve year interval to unearth the alleged issue by the Code of Conduct Bureau and the way the Code of Conduct Tribunal is handling the issue is suspicious.
“I see it more or less as political persecution. It is purely political. Maybe there are some political opponents that are trying to get at him,” he said.
Alhaji Adi urged the CCB not to be used to achieve certain political gain but do its jobs without external influence.
The IEDPU President who pointed out that Senator Saraki was the first son of the Ilorin Emirate and Kwara State in general to clinch the coveted position expressed solidarity with the Turaki of Ilorin, stressing that “we believe he will come out of it. You are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.”
He added that members of the IEDPU across the country were mobilised in the solidarity visit to the Senate President to present a position paper on issues affecting the Ilorin Emirate and Kwara State at large which need his intervention.