Former Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamakko, at the weekend said the two years of trial of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), over alleged false assets declaration, affected the performances of the upper legislative chamber while it lasted.
The CCT had discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him.
The two-man panel of the CCT, led by its chairman, Danladi Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission filed by Saraki after the prosecution closed its case with 48 exhibits tendered and after the testimonies of the fourth and the last prosecution witness on May 4, 2017.
The long session of Saraki’s trial by the CCT lasting almost two years, and had inflicted agony and deprivation on the Senate, which requires maturity and experiences by senators to overcome, former governor, Wamakko said.
Wamakko, who made this known in a talk with correspondents in Abuja, said with the trial process over now, Nigerians could begin to expect a higher octave of performance from the Senate.
He said the political agony and deprivation which the Senate suffered all through could not be imagined, in which case its leader, Saraki had to make repeated shuttle between the Senate and the Court, appearing in person to prove his innocence, while all the same, battling to stabilize the Senate as an institution of lawmaking.
Wamakko representing Sokoto North Central, described the litigations against the Senate President, bothering on false assets declaration as a needless distraction, which according to him repressed the Senate for close to two years, preventing it from rolling out its best for the rest of Nigeria.
Saraki, he stressed, demonstrated strength and courage while the trial process lasted, adding that his perseverance in the face of very daunting challenges offered inspiration to Senators and supporters in and outside Nigeria.
He said had Saraki not demonstrated boldness and courage, the Senate would have collapsed while the attendant effect could have undermined the country’s democracy.
“Personally, I salute his courage, his strength of character and focus. He pulled himself together and refused to be shaken by the cacophony of insults and debasements that trailed his trial. He inspired us in the Senate with the rare attributes”, Wamako said.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Basic and Secondary Education said he and his colleagues are now more inspired to double their efforts in taking the Senate to the next level on service delivery with commitment to making time tested legislations meant to deepen democracy.
Wamakko recalled that the Senate, notwithstanding the tempest it underwent in the past two years, managed to pass strategic bills such as PIG Bill, Mutual Assistance in Criminal matters and other Foreign matters Bill, the 2017 Appropriation Bill and others, all he said had been signed into law.
The former governor, however, tasked Saraki and other principal officers of the Senate to brace up for a more daunting challenge of stabilising the unity of Nigeria “With unassailable commitment to making the 8th Senate succeed in efforts to amend the constitution of Nigeria for better governance and national cohesion”
SEYI ANJORIN, Abuja