By Ayeotan Shola
The President, Muhammadu Buhari has refused to dabble into the current controversy and corruption allegations surrounding the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Bukola Saraki is at loggerheads with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over a 13-count criminal charge preferred against Saraki on account of alleged false declaration of assets.
According to the Pres. Buhari, the courts have a duty to perform hence is decision not to involve himself in the case.
This came as Abuja, the nation’s capital city hosts a web of high-wire intrigues and three-fold legal fisticuffs over the issue today.
Meantime, Saraki returned to Abuja after a short trip to Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital. Saraki and a host of senators were said to be meeting in Abuja, last night over the issue. Details of the strategic meeting were not available at press time.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said: “There is no place in law that the Bureau and the tribunal should take instructions from any quarters.”
According to him, “as an independent institution equal to any superior court of record, the tribunal is set up by the constitution to determine the issue of default, false declaration or forgery in assets declaration.”
Shehu said that the matter was purely a judicial process and had nothing to do with the presidency. He advised the affected parties to also use the courts to acquit themselves of the allegations.
According to Shehu, the president cannot interfere with the judicial process by stopping the Judge. He reiterated President Buhari’s avowed commitment to the fight against corruption no matter whose ox is gored, saying that the President has sworn to protect the constitution.
“If anyone has an axe to grind with what they are doing, they should do it in a judicial manner by challenging those actions in a proper court of law. Let them hire a good team of lawyers to prove their innocence.
“Government has no desire to persecute anybody. The President has vowed to respect the rule of law and this is what he is doing by staying out of this matter. He has said times without number that the war against corruption has no sacred cows. Even if the President wants to help, there is no way he can do anything. Is he going to ask the judge to stop the trial?
“It is purely a judicial process, the type of which are routinely dealt with by the CCB and the CCT. There are many cases like this that are going on. The President has sworn to an oath to protect the constitution and will not violate that oath”, Shehu said.