The Saraki issue has no doubt ridiculed both the APC and the Presidency.
The Senate leadership tussle has shown to be the first of many battles, a fact which many are yet to comprehend. Saraki installed himself they said, though we all saw the electioneering process where he emerged winner. But I ask, how can you fight corruption or what sort of democracy will you be practicing if the Legislature cannot choose for itself its own leadership? How can you institutionalize party supremacy in an inter-party domain and when the electorate has done its job? Saraki won the Senate Leadership election, became the number three (3) man in the country to the dismay of many others.
Saraki installed himself they said, though we all saw the electioneering process where he emerged winner. But I ask, how can you fight corruption or what sort of democracy will you be practicing if the Legislature cannot choose for itself its own leadership?
The impunity under President Buhari might be the biggest Nigeria has ever witnessed. I am an ardent supporter of the APC, and I pray the situation is contained as fast as possible, else, Buhari and the APC will be the biggest scam Nigerians have witnessed in a long while. How can you because of intra-party differences ridicule the office of the Senate President and by extension, the National Assembly? You’ll come to see how in the course of reading this.
It will suffice to say that the APC was not ready for governance. I am of the opinion that Nigerians believed in them more than they did in themselves, and all events from May 29 clearly reek of this fact.
Now to Senate President Saraki and his infamous Code of Conduct Tribunal case going on, Section 24 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act 2004 provides that “prosecution before the Tribunal shall be initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation or any officer directed by him”That provision is simple and self explanatory: the Attorney General of the Federation must approve such before its commencement, but thanks to Mr President, we don’t have one yet after over 3 months in Office ( bearing in mind that he won elections in April, and knew he was going to be sworn in as President in May).
On the President’s
appointment thus far, the Senate before its vacation in June approved the appointment of 15 advisers for the President. Now, some offices are totally at the discretion of Mr President (examples include his Special Assistants, Technical Assistants and the likes who are categorized as aides ) while some will have to go through the Senate (examples include Service Chiefs which include the Immigration and Custom Bosses recently appointed) as a matter of necessity, provided for by combined Sections 218 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Ammended) and 18 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation which state that the President has the power to appoint the service chiefs, but subject to the confirmation and the approval of the National Assembly. Our President has made appointments on both sides and it is on record that the examples listed above in the latter part were not sent to the Senate for confirmation before assuming office. Is the Senate not being ridiculed?
Maybe the President wants to have nothing to do with Senate President Saraki as speculated. Afterall the APC has vowed not to recognise Saraki as Senate President. One thought however keeps coming to mind, will the President ever send his ministerial appointees list to the Senate while Saraki remains Senate President? Only time will tell.
Back to the Code of Conduct Tribunal saga. While I agree that absence of the Attorney General should really not stop the law from taking its course, but when a matter is before a Federal High Court – a superior court of record as enshrined in Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Ammended) – what sort of Tribunal interferes on Friday a matter slated for Monday at a Federal High Court where it (The Tribunal) has been summoned to defend its case? An Arrest warrant on the Senate President has gone too far in pursuing your cause, no matter how much you believe in it. While Nigerians are not opposed to the law taking its course, we are also concerned about following the laid down procedures in doing that. We have come too far to start disregarding the law in a bid to enforce it.
Some people are of the opinion that we have enthroned a dictator. The crude way in which things are done in the name of fighting corruption should be stopped. We are yet to forget the Akwa – Ibom incident.
Let the NLC wake up. Let everybody support President Buhari in fighting corruption but let everybody in the same way oppose him in becoming dictatorial.
Let President Buhari and the APC be cautioned.
Let President Buhari tread firmly but circumspectly.
Let President Buhari be genuinely inspired by change but let him not be corrupted by power.
Our interests in politics will not blind us.
Thank you for reading.
I believe in a better Nigeria.
Written by Deolu M. ALIU,
*Both are graduates of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan.