Bauchi Gov: APC Govs Will Not Intervene in Ongoing Criminal Cases in Courts, Tribunal

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Iyobosa Uwugiaren, Ndubuisi Francis and Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar disclosed on Wednesday that in spite of the recent moves by governors of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) to resolve the spate of crises bedevilling the party, they would not intervene in ongoing cases pending at the tribunal or courts.

Although he did not refer to any particular case, Abubakar was apparently referring to the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets.

On the other hand, Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, among others, are facing another court case for alleged doctoring of the Senate Standing Rules.

The APC Governors’ Forum had on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari to seeks ways of resolving some of the crises bedeviling the party, particularly at the national level.

Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, the Bauchi Governor said that in spite of their resolve to resolve the crises rocking the party, himself and his colleagues from the ruling party would not tamper with ongoing cases at the tribunals and courts.

‘”I assure you that we are not going to tamper with cases that are before the courts or tribunal and we are not going to delve into the current problem of the moment.

“We are only going touch on the political issues pertaining to the National Assembly.What is before the court, we will not touch because those of us who are lawyers know that the current issue is just coming up and is not politics.

‘”Íf any proof is found in the various allegations, these are criminal offences and there is no way any committee of the governors will delve into that,” he said.

He described the crises rocking the party as part of the teething problems, having transmuted from an opposition party to one in power.
“”That is why yesterday (Tuesday), we paid a visit to the president and we expressed the need for governors to be called upon to delve into the problems of the party with a view to reinvigorating the party so that it can continue performing the functions of a party in power.

“We are trying to address these issues and Mr. President has graciously allowed us yesterday(Tuesday) and we have in fact formed committees of the APC Governors’ Forum to address this and all the other issues bedevilling the ruling party.

“At the state levels, there are problems, I must confess, particularly with our representatives at the centre. But what I always say is that the most beautiful form of government is constitutional democracy, especially when the constitution is written as in Nigeria.

“And the beauty is that every level of government has its functions and power written and if we are going to abide by the functions and powers allocated to us in the constitution, there would not be any form of friction.

“But because the APC is new to governance and it has come from many years in opposition to attain the position of a ruling party, we are having teething problems. And I assure that we are addressing these problems because they are not insurmountable,” Abubakar said.
Giving an account of his stewardship since he assumed office over a year ago, he declared that the state was facing a serious labour crisis before he took over, adding that he had to appeal for the suspension of the strike arising from the non-payment of salaries to civil servants by the previous regime.

“I promised them that immediately I take over, we will attempt to address their problems and that their continued strike will impede our ability to take over because so much information was required from the civil service and if they were on strike, there is no way we can get these vital information,”, adding that the strike was called off in deference to his appeal.