Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Palpable anxiety that might put the Senate on the edge emerged yesterday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised the alarm over alleged fresh plot to use the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to forcibly remove Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, from office.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the plot, against Saraki, similar to the last invasion of the National Assembly by the DSS earlier in the year, is to scuttle the success being recorded by the PDP presidential campaign organisation in its consultations and winning campaigns across the nation ahead of the 2019 general election.
According to him, “Part of the plot is to use the police and the DSS to fabricate spurious charges against Saraki, distract him and destabilise the PDP presidential campaign, a scheme the PDP described as dead on arrival, as Nigerians are solidly behind the PDP in the mission to rescue the nation from the misrule of the APC.”
The main opposition party said it was privy to clandestine meetings by the Muhammadu Buhari presidency and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on how to derail the PDP presidential campaign by moving against Saraki.
Senators who spoke to THISDAY last night over the party’s allegation, warned that the move might precipitate crisis and could affect the consideration of the 2019 budget.
“I do not think that would be a wise move at this time, considering its overall implication for the 2019 budget that is about to be laid,” a senator that did not want to be named said.
Added another senator, “Surely, we would resist it, and that would not augur well for President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure’s last stretch.”
Meanwhile, the party has also condemned in totality, the continued clampdown, harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) by the APC-led administration.
The PDP said the development smacks of scare mongering apparently to intimidate and cow the civil society from criticising the misrule of the Buhari administration.
“Of particular reference is the re-arresting and continued detention of a rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, by the police for a matter, which documents in the public domain, show he has been discharged and acquitted by the court,” it said.
Ologbondiyan added that information available shows that the authorities have not been comfortable with Adeyanju’s criticisms.
He stated, “However, arresting and detaining him on a matter for which there has been a conclusive judicial determination nine years ago is in clear violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and in direct infringement of his right as a citizen under the law.
“This is more so as even the spokesperson of President Buhari’s Campaign Organisation Festus Keyamo (SAN), and who was Adeyanju’s defence counsel on the matter which was before the court between 2005 and 2009, has, in a media report, attested that Adeyanju was discharged and acquitted, and that the prosecution did not file any appeal because it was satisfied with the ruling.”
The PDP therefore demanded the immediate release of Adeyanju, if the police found nothing incriminatory to charge him to court, within 48 hours of his arrest, in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).