Anti-Saraki forces plan mass protests, seek his removal


ABUJA- AHEAD of the resumption of Senate September 29, strong indications emerged yesterday that forces against the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki are strateging on how to ensure that he leaves the position as number three citizen of the country.

Saturday Vanguard gathered yesterday that forces opposed to Saraki’s continued stay as Senate President have concluded plans to embark on what they termed, mass protests to drive home on whether he was moraly bound to continue in that office and the need for him to “resign honourably.”


According to a source, following the arraignment of Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal)CCT), some leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC have concluded plans to move the battle against him to the second stage, which would be carry out campaigns that was expected to catch like wild fire across the country, just as this was designed to weaken his public image and popularising the idea that there was the need for him to resign.

The source disclosed that the protests would be sustained until the resumed hearing of the CCT suit against Saraki on October 21.

It was also gathered that some groups of Protesters were already mobilized and would start their campaigns from Monday September 28, a day to the resumption of the Senate after a six week annual recess, just as this group was said to also be mobilising to ensure that the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was removed.

Senate President Bukola Saraki is presently facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT following a 13- count charge levelled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets in 2003 and summoned him to appear before it on Friday.

But the President of the Senate through his lawyers, approached a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday to secure an exparte order to stop the tribunal proceedings. His Counsels actually got a ruling, summoning the Code of Code Bureau ( CCB), the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Saraki himself to appear before it on Monday for hearing of the suit.

However, ignoring the order, the Code of Conduct Tribunal went ahead with Saraki’s trial, thereby resulting in the tribunal Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar ruling that no federal high court has any jurisdiction to stop the tribunal’s proceedings, claiming that Federal High Court and the Tribunal have coordinate jurisdiction.

The judge later issued warrant of arrest on Saraki for refusing to appear before it after two days of notification to that effect, just as Saraki’s counsels quickly moved to file an appeal against the ruling at the Federal Court of Appeal Abuja the same Friday.

But while answering questions from Journalists Monday, Senate President Saraki had vowed that he would appear at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT Tuesday to answer to issues raised by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB and he actually appeared on Tuesday.

As part of moves to remove Saraki through s mass protest, a source disclosed that what happened at the Ilorin Prayer ground on Thursday when some persons led the attack on the Senate President and other dignitaries during the Eid prayers in the Kwara state capital was a rehearsal to the coming up protest.

It was also gathered that many of the protesters were to campaign on the grounds that Saraki’s continued occupation of the Chairmanship of the National Assembly and Senate Presidency would amount to a stain on the anti-corruption war embarked upon by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The source said, : “The real plan concerning the arraignment o Saraki was originally aimed at achieving two things. One was to enable him kept behind bars from Friday September 18, the first day the CCT suit was to hold and then pave the way for the Senators to remove him. The second was to orchestrate that campaign that his arraignment was bad enough for the anti-corruption war of the current government. But since Saraki did not appear before the CCT on September 18, the first leg was affected. Now the arraignment on September 22 has emboldened then to start the street campaign.”

According to the source, Senator Ekweremadu would come under special scrutiny to ensure he is also faced with threatening charges that would force him to resign, adding, “The target really is Ekweremadu. If he agrees to resign, it would be easier for Saraki to continue. But Saraki became the target when he refused to lift a finger when told that he should sacrifice his deputy.”