Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The National Assembly has expressed fears over the possibility of the court imposing stringent bail conditions on Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, when they are arraigned on Monday, June 27, for alleged forgery.
A source at the National Assembly told our correspondent in Abuja that the Federal Ministry of Justice planned to put pressure on the trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court,vto impose stringent conditions on the accused persons.
Saraki, Ekweremadu and two others have been charged on two counts of forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery.
The source said that the two men being number three and five respectively in the national hierarchy, Saraki and Ekweremadu ought to get bail on personal recognition.
The source said: “The plan is to ensure they are presented with conditions which they cannot meet immediately. The conditions will be such that they will struggle with them for some days before they could wriggle out of the court dragnet.
“The case has political undertone and the ministry will not allow them ride rough-shod on it or enjoy a free ride. They will have to struggle for some time before they can benefit from any concession they may eventually get from the courts.”
The charge against Saraki and others reads: ”That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about, the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.”
They were also accused of fraudulently forging the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when they knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order.
Already the trial judge had ordered that the accused persons be served with the charges by pasting the notice of the summons on the notice board of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.
The trial is now fixed for June 27, 2016.
More Details to Follow