By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
Is the earlier claim of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar, was not qualified to hear his case on account of financial wrongdoing established on the ground of the recent criminal charges filed against him by the EFCC.
Although, Bukola Saraki could not but sympathiSE with Mr Danladi Umar on account of the criminal charges already filed against him in less than four days to the resumption of his trial before the CCT Chairman.
It would be recalled that the lawyers of the Senate President had in April 2016 asked the Tribunal Chairman, Mr Danladi Umar to recuse himself from the case before him. But it was surprising then that the CCT Chairman was swiftly cleared of any wrongdoing by the EFCC.
It is now rather amusing that the same anti-graft agency that had earlier cleared Mr Danladi Umar of any wrongdoing has made a volta face by filling criminal charges against him in less than four days to the commencement of Saraki’s trial. The big question is what has suddenly changed in the investigative records of EFCC from April 2016 till now.
It has also been observed that despite all efforts to make Nigerians believe that the Saraki’s trial is only genuinely bothering on asset declaration irregularities; however, the unveiling maneuvers, manipulation, intrigues, schemes, and “House of Cards” nature of the entire case are proving otherwise.
As a matter of fact, there should be serious cause for worry by all genuine lovers and supporters of the APC led government on the extent of image damage this judicial drama has done to the so called war against corruption.
The fact that the trial of Dr. Saraki is political is not in anyway in doubt. His offence is truly not asset declaration irregularities, but the fact that he emerged the Senate President again the wish of some political heavy weights.
It must also be noted that the EFCC as an agency has only made itself a willing tool for the same politicians that are not only determined to smear the good image of Bukola Saraki, but to also dampen his spirit. Another target of the persecution scheme is also to undermine the independence of the Senate by cowing Dr. Bukola Saraki to submission through the assistance of both the EFCC and the judiciary.
However, the conduct of Dr. Bukola Saraki since the commencement of his trial in 2015, notwithstanding the seeming political persecution against him, has portrayed him as someone with utmost and firm confidence in the nation’s judicial system and its ability to do justice in all cases.