CCT Trial: Saraki, Like Mind Senators Lobby Emirs
As the October 21 trial date of Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is facing a 13-count charge bordering on corruption and false declaration of assets draws near, there are reports that Saraki and some members of his Like Minds in the senate have reached out to some emirs to intervene in his travail.
According to TheNation, Saraki and his loyalists are trying to explore ways of resolving the crisis of confidence between the Senate President and the Presidency.
Some of them were said to be urging the emirs to prevail on the Federal Government to drop charges against Saraki, who is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets.
But President Muhammadu Buhari may not accept under-the-table deal in matters relating to corruption, a source said.
Recall that the President, while denying allegations that he is behind the trial of Saraki,asked the Senate President to go and defend himself as the the trial is purely a judicial process which he can not interfere with.
The Senate President’s supporters have been attributing the arraignment to “political vendetta”.
Saraki had audience with some traditional rulers from the North on Saturday.
A highly-placed source said: “Some loyalists of Saraki are really pushing for political option. This is why they have been reaching out to prominent emirs and chiefs in the North.
“I think Saraki is buying into the rapprochement by meeting with some emirs where he explained his own side and how things could be straightened.
“For instance on Saturday, Saraki had audience with some emirs and chiefs from the North in connection with his travails and how to resolve the matter amicably.”
A member of The Like Minds said: “No one is happy the way things are – at a standstill. The Presidency and the Senate leadership are working at cross-purpose.
“If we continue like this, the hostility between the Presidency and the Senate will deepen and it will affect many things.
“We are reaching out to some emirs and Northern leaders to address this problem. We believe we can manage the situation before it gets out of hand.”
A source in the Presidency said: “As far as I know, President Muhammadu Buhari will not accept under-the-table deal on allegations having to do with corruption.
“The Presidency has explained that it has nothing to do with Saraki’s trial. There is no basis for any lobbying.”
As at last night, Saraki’s supporters were still divided on whether or not to confront the Presidency over his arraignment before the tribunal.
Some Senators are seeking outright condemnation of the trial; others are pushing for a subtle management of the situation.
“We are weighing options ahead of our resumption on tomorrow on how to manage the situation, “a senator said.