|Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu|
Nigeria Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and deputy, Senator president Ike Ekweremadu and two others, will appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.
The nation news confirmed that some National Assembly are already trading blames over the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders/Rules 2015 ahead of the expected arraignment of Senate President Bukola Saraki, his Deputy Chief Ike Ekweremadu and two others in court today 27th june, 2016. over the incident.
The Federal Government had, through the office of the Attorney General filed the charges the top Senate officers as well as former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi. are to face trial alongside Saraki and Ekweremadu for forgery offence.
Accordly to dailypost ,In the affidavit attached to the case file, by the AGF which was filed on June 10, 2016, the investigative police officer swore that the investigation into the case had been concluded.
The two count charges read below:
“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about, the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.
“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, with fraudulent intent, forged the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when you knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law.”
It would be recalled that some lawmakers under the aegis of the Senate Unity Forum (SUF) petitioned the police, alleging forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 that produced Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu.
The police then invited former Senate President David Mark and Senator Ekweremadu.
They were first summoned by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in July 2015, to answer questions over their roles in the alleged forgery of Senate rules.
Also invited by the police were the former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and Senator Ita Enang, who served as chairman, Committee on Rules and Business in the Seventh Senate.
However, the immediate past Clerk to the National Assembly, Maikasuwa said Efeture is in the best position to clarify the status of Senate Standing Rules 2015(as amended).
Maikasuwa said: “I became the Clerk to the National Assembly on 16th August 2010. On Tuesday, 9th June, I inaugurated the 8th Senate. I did not refer to any Standing Order to inaugurate the 8th Assembly.
He also insisted that “I used the format/ procedure for the opening of a new parliament and also the proclamation for the holding of the first session of the National Assembly.
“After the inauguration, I conducted the elections of the Senate President and his deputy. When nominations were made, I called the Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly, who is also the Clerk to the Senate to read out the guidelines for the election.
“I dont have idea on the current Standing Orders being used by the Senate now. The Senate Standing Orders used in the 7th Senate was not known to me.
“The Clerk of the Senate is in a position to know. I am not aware of any amendment that was made to the Standing Rules of 2011.
“I am also not aware of the amendment of the Senate Standing Orders 2015. Efeture told the police that: I only appear in chambers three times: During joint sittings, during inauguration and valedictory sessions.”
But Efeture asked the police to hold the leadership of the 7th Senate headed by ex-Senate President, Chief David Mark, accountable.
He said on oath as follows: “I am the Deputy Clerk of NASS. The senate leadership ordered the 2015 Standing Rules as amended by their convention and practice. Standing orders 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 follow similar practice.