Saraki May Shun CCT Again, Moves To Ilorin To Enlist Support As Loyalist Intensifies Prayers
There were indications on Sunday that the Senate President might still not appear before the CCT on Monday (today) despite the bench warrant issued on him by Justice Umar.
While the Senate president is said to have traveled to Illorin, the Kwara State capital to enlist enlisting the support of his base, his legal team are working to quash the order of the tribunal for his arrest.
Saraki was said to have paid an unscheduled visit to Ilorin on Sunday, where he was said to have enlisted the support of his kinsmen and the emirate.
Counsel for Saraki, Mr. Mahmud Magaji (SAN), said he had appealed against the ruling by the tribunal judge.
The lawyer said, “We have been able to file a notice of appeal as well as stay of execution. When you have a valid notice of appeal and stay of execution, it puts the order of the court so granted in abeyance, unless and until the final determination of that content of that order that is being challenged at the Court of Appeal. That is the position of the law.”
He also confirmed that the notice of appeal and stay of execution had been received by the CCT.
“We filed it at the registry of the Code of Conduct Tribunal in the same court and it has been served on them since Friday; and then we are good to go. They have a copy of it and we have filed an appeal too. The rule is that you cannot file a stay of execution until you file notice of appeal and so we are good to go,” he said.
The Special Adviser (Media) to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also told one of our correspondents on Sunday that Saraki’s legal team would determine what would happen on Monday.
“The legal team of the Senate President and their client will decide what will happen because there are three cases coming up. One at the Federal High Court, one at the Court of Appeal and another at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, I am not in a position to say what will happen,” Olaniyonu said.
Meanwhile, the home state of the Senate president and some of his supporters have organised prayer sessions for him to be vindicated.
“The warrant against our leader is unjust and I believe some politicians who do not want Saraki in that position are behind everything,” one of his admirers said.
An angry resident said Saraki’s predicament would delay the appointment of commissioners in the state by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
“We knew there will be slow pace of governance in the state since Saraki indicated his interest in becoming the Senate president, but we were relieved when he won the election. However, with this development, everything will stand still in Kwara.”
Also speaking shortly after Saaki’s visit to Ilorin, the National President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, a socio-cultural group of Ilorin indigenes, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi, in an interview with journalists on Sunday, described Saraki’s trial by the CCT as politically motivated.
“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. We believe he will come out of it. You are presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” Adi said.