- Case may derail Nigeria’s democracy, CCT chairman controlled by external forces
By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A former National Vice Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Joseph Waku yesterday alleged that the federal government was directly involved in the ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over issues concerning his assets declaration and that the whole trial was politically-motivated.
Waku, who was also a Senator alleged further that he was sent to the CCT in Abuja on Thursday by the leadership of the ACF to observe the court session on behalf of the forum.
He said from what he observed, Saraki’s trial was politically-motivated and that it would do a lot of damage to the country’s democracy.
The former senator who addressed judiciary correspondents after observing the court session claimed that from all indications and from the conduct of the proceedings, the tribunal’s chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar was being tele-guided by external forces.
He also warned that the federal government “through the CCT must not give a predetermined judgment against Saraki for political reasons as doing so, will not be in the best interest of this country.”
Waku, an elder of the ACF said from what he observed, the on-going would not bring justice to the President of the Senate.
He said that he was not impressed with the performance of the Tribunal so far.
“I think that Nigeria is again moving through a trying period of Judicial process and I make bold to say that there is already a tele-guided and premeditated judgment that one expect to see in future and that may not be good for this country.
“It will not be good for judicial process, it is not going to be good for democracy and it will not be in the best interest of the ‘Change’ that we are looking for.
“I have been watching the proceedings on the television and reading in the newspapers. The judiciary is on trial; the country is on trial; the Justices are on trial and we are watching to see, because similar cases have gone on before and we know how they ended.
“So, my observations here are those things that I have witnessed. I have to go back to the mother organizations to report my findings based on what I witnessed, what I have seen and the way I have looked at it.
“In as much as we are against corruption, let the legal process take its due cognisance of the facts that it is the last hope of the ordinary and common persons. That is my observation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ACF has distanced itself from reports that it had appointed Waku to observer proceedings at the CCT.
The forum in a statement yesterday in Kaduna said that at no time did it appoint anyone as an observer at the trial of the Senate President.
The statement which was signed by the Secretsry General of the ACF, Col. John P. Uba reads: “The attention of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has been drawn to a report by online newspaper the Premium Times, of a statement by Senator JKN Waku to the effect that he was appointed by the ACF to be an observer at the on going CCT trial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
“The ACF wishes to state categorically that at no time did the it meet in any of its organs ( the NWC, NEC, BOT) to discuss the issue of Senator Saraki’s ongoing trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Hence the ACF did not send anybody to the CCT trial either as observer or in any capacity. Therefore the ACF totally dissociates itself from the statements credited to Senator JKN Waku. The ACF is a non-partisan, and foremost umbrella organisation committed to Northern Development and National Unity. It is not in the tradition of the ACF to take sides or interfere in judicial processes”.