Senate panel meets Buhari on alleged plot to frame Saraki for cultism

by | May 16, 2018 2:49 pm

The leadership of the Senate on Wednesday set up a ten-man panel to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on an alleged plot by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to implicate Senate President Bukola Saraki over a cultism case in Kwara State.

The panel which would be led by the Senate President, is expected to express their dissatisfaction with the President over the desecration of the National Assembly by the Executive.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, asked the committee to report back in one week.

Other members of the committee include: Senate Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan; Chief Whip Sola Adeyeye and Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio.

Others are: Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations Danjuma Goje; his counterpart in Agriculture Abdullahi Adamu; Aliyu Wammako; Sam Egwu; Fatima Raji-Razaki and Oluremi Tinubu.

This came to the fore on Wednesday when the Senate President informed his colleagues after a closed door session which lasted for over 40 minutes.

Both the IGP and the Senate have been in a running battle for some weeks, following the refusal of the former to appear before the latter after three summons.

For the first time in the history of the 8th Senate, Saraki was asked to step aside as Presiding Officer to allow his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to preside over the matter.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah hinged his Point of Order on the fact that the Senate President cannot be a judge in his own case.

Earlier, Saraki revealed that the suspects have been transferred from Kwara State to the Force Headquarters, Abuja with a view to implicating him.

According to Saraki, the move by the IGP is to settle scores with the upper legislative chamber for declaring him as incompetent, and unfit to hold public office within and outside the country.

He said: “Last night, my State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed revealed to me an information at his disposal that a group of suspects who had been in police cells for several weeks for cultism and whose investigation had been concluded with prosecution about to commence under the State law, based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Ministry of Justice, were ordered to be transferred to Abuja this morning.

“According to the information available to the Governor, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim directed the Commissioner of Police in Kwara State to immediately transfer the men to the Force Headquarters. The plan, as the Governor was made to understand is that, under duress, the suspects would be made to alter the statements they already made in Ilorin. They will then be made to implicate the Kwara State Government, and in particular, myself, in their new statement.

“This plot is part of the strategy by the IGP Idris to settle scores over the declaration by this honourable Chamber that he is not qualified and competent to hold any public office, within and outside the country and that he is an enemy of Nigerian democracy, based on his usual disrespectful conduct towards lawful authorities.

“In my own view, this plot is an act of desperation, blackmail, intimidation, abuse of office and crude tactics aimed at turning our country into a Police State where top officials cannot be made to obey the law, follow due process and subject themselves to constituted authorities.

“I want to bring this dangerous development to the attention of all of you my colleagues, the entire country and the international community so that you can be aware of the level of impunity in our country and the danger it constitutes to our democracy”.

While lawmakers who spoke on the matter condemned the action, others like Senators Samuel Anyanwu, Emmanuel Bwacha revealed that the policemen attached to them have been withdrawn.

They expressed fear that the move is similar to the ordeal meted to the embattled chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, who was transferred from Abuja to Kogi State by the police on charges bordering on illegal possession of firearms and gun running.