• Waku: Trial was just a persecution
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and George Okoh in Makurdi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has no basis to have instituted a law suit against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, respectively.
The party which was reacting to last week’s withdrawal of the forgery case against the two National Assembly leaders, said the action has justified its earlier charge that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is on a vendetta mission and not to govern.
“We are amused by this sudden realisation of the federal government that the so-called ‘Rule-Forgery Case’ was a shadow chase from the beginning. It was complete nothingness! More so, the claim through the lead counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), that the withdrawal was on grounds of respect for the rule of law and hierarchy of the judiciary demonstrates more of comedy on the side of this federal government that has penchant for legal disobedience and abuse of court processes.
“Notwithstanding, this act of withdrawal justifies our earlier position that the APC-led administration is on a vendetta mission and not to govern.
“The PDP is worried with the frequent interference on other arms of government by the APC-led administration, and this must be curtailed as a matter of urgency if Nigeria is to practice democracy like other democratic systems across the world, and live as one indivisible nation.
The PDP said the principle of separation of powers as propagated in every democratic setting is to allow for checks and balances among the different arms of government in order to prevent excessive or cohesive use of power by any of the organs of government. In this context,
“It was clear to us and other well-meaning Nigerians from the outset that this case of forgery instituted against the presiding officers of the National Assembly was just another bad politics of the APC because the federal government under the Penal Code law has no business with the standing rules of the National Assembly as alleged.
“We therefore further call on the executive arm of government in the country to maintain the sanctity of this principle, and desist from unnecessary distractions with acts of impunity against persons, groups for organisations. We are in a democracy and not anarchy,” it said.
Also, former senator, Chief Joseph Waku, has described the withdrawal of a lawsuit against Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu, by the federal government as the most appropriate thing to do in the face of no-case issue.
According to Waku, the whole issue was a mere witch-hunt to tarnish Saraki’s image as a result of his emergence as the senate president.
“There is no justification whatsoever to drag the Senate president and his deputy to court for criminal case as there were neither the author of the said document nor the management of the assembly prior to when they were elected.
“Until they went into that chamber, they were senators-elect so they couldn’t have forged documents to elect them. So, in the first place, going to court was witch-hunting; they have no legal backing to take them to court because they were not in the position to doctor or forge the documents,” he stated.
The former lawmaker said he was baffled the way the whole saga went, adding that as a former member of the Senate, there was no way a member of the senate could doctor a rule.
“The federal government was witch hunting the Senate president but they have done the right thing by withdrawing the case of forgery against him and his deputy,” Waku added.
He commended the federal government for toeing the path of peace by dropping the case against the senate leadership.
On the proposed sales of national asset, Waku said it was the most primitive decision if taken.
He said if done, one day, “we will wake up and find out that we have sold the villa or the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“You cannot sell off the sovereignty of the country. How much are the national assets valued? Can their sales solve the present problem? I can bring a reasonable sum of money to this country. There is no country in the world that can run without foreign loans to be repaid with agreed terms. Some Nigerians who have tried bringing foreign partners have been blocked. There is a lot of opportunity to get out of this recession within the shortest possible period, but it all depends on the federal government’s willingness to accept it.”
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari government is riddled with saboteurs who don’t want him to succeed, even as he condemned Buhari’s fight against corruption stating that corruption fight will not be won as long as the president is not willing to try people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo.