Saraki Hails Supreme Court Verdict, Says Trial Politically Motivated

Saraki Hails Supreme Court Verdict, Says Trial Politically Motivated

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has reiterated his confidence in the judicial process and the ability of the Judiciary to do justice to all manner of men and in all circumstances.

 

In a statement personally signed by him after the judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the earlier decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal discharging and acquitting him of all 18 charges instituted against him, Saraki expressed gratitude to all Nigerians who have supported him since the case commenced three years ago.

 

“At the end of a tortuous journey of 1018 Days counting from September 22, 2015 when the case began at the Tribunal, I am happy that I have been vindicated. The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is no evidence of false declaration of assets. The court also observed that certain agents took over the responsibility of the Code of Conduct Bureau in this trial, and one can infer that this was done towards a pre-determined end.

 

“This outcome has gladdened my heart and further strengthened my belief in this country and as well as my faith in Almighty Allah, who is the righter of all wrongs. God has vindicated me today before the judgement of man, and I am most thankful and humbled at His grace and infinite mercies.

 

“Through it all, I refused to be shaken, knowing, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, that the arch of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice. I knew the day would come when justice would prevail and I would be exonerated.

 

“I have always believed in the infallibility of our Judiciary, secure in the knowledge that our courts – the last refuge of the oppressed – would never condemn the innocent. This outcome is also a vindication of my belief in the rule of law.

 

“As I said in my first appearance at the CCT, this is a politically motivated case. The case was trumped up in the first instance because of my emergence as the President of the Senate against the wishes of certain forces. Ordinarily, I doubt anyone would be interested in the asset declaration form I filled over 15 years ago.

 

“What we have seen is the opposite. Instead of working together in the interest of the nation and to seek to do better for our people, we are fighting one another and using legal instruments to mount baseless accusations against one another. Instead of exhibiting the need for unity and working day and night for that purpose, we are stoking the fire of division and rancour. I maintain that, above all else, my CCT trial has been a flagrant vilification of my person, and shows that some people are after their personal interests rather than the national interest.

 

“As a result of the war of attrition, various arms of government have wasted resources needlessly. It has been three wasted years across board in this country. Three years that would have been devoted to tackling issues affecting Nigerians, including: economic recovery, insecurity, youth unemployment and strengthening national institutions – were wasted on malicious prosecution. People were ready to trade off three years that would have been devoted to fostering cooperation, unity and economic progress for their selfish ends. It is my hope that those who are behind my persecution will see the handwriting on the wall and leave me to do the work for which I was elected, so I can continue to give my all to this great country of ours.

 

“As many have rightly observed, it is plain to see that the anti-corruption fight is being prosecuted with vindictiveness, to target perceived political opponents. I believe in the need to fight corruption, but I will never be party to the selective application of the law or the rhetoric of an insincere anti-corruption fight.

 

“I believe in fighting corruption and I have made my own humble contributions to the fight against corruption in this country. As a presidential aide, I initiated the process that led to the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. I was the first governor to establish the Price Intelligence Unit which later metamorphosed into the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) at the federal level. In the history of this country, the highest fraud, the most brazen corruption has been the Fuel Subsidy scam. No one wanted to talk about it or confront entrenched powers. As a Senator on the platform of the ruling party at that time, I sponsored a motion on the floor of the Senate calling for investigation that led to the unprecedented exposure of the massive corruption in the fuel subsidy regime. That was my only point of departure with the former President. My antecedents speak for themselves.

 

“I thank Nigerians for standing by me through the difficult period of this trial. The support of ordinary Nigerians and their faith in me, as well as their sophistication and discernment in seeing this case for what it was, has been a source of strength to me.

 

“I am most grateful for the support of my Distinguished Colleagues and the Honourable Members of the 8th National Assembly for their unflinching support and regular attendance at the various proceedings. They were unfairly criticised for accompanying me on court appearances, but it is now clear that they did so because they believed that injustice to one, is injustice to all. They have been the true embodiment of esprit de corps. I thank them for banding together in the face of an unconscionable attack on the institution of the legislature.

 

“I thank my legal team for their determined and principled stance, and for their knowledge and diligence, which saw this case to its just conclusion. My gratitude to all my friends, political associates, supporters and the good people of Kwara State – all of whom have been solidly behind me.

 

“I thank my family for enduring this trial with their usual grace and fortitude. My immense gratitude also goes to the international community for their interest in this case. The Nigerian press have kept watch and I appreciate their vigilance in ensuring that all the facts were held up to scrutiny.

 

“To my supporters, yes, there is a reason to rejoice, but our celebration must be tempered with the sobering lessons of the attempted injustice from Day One of this trial. We all have to canvas for fairness in the fight against corruption. We should see this verdict as an inspiration to champion the rule of law, promote democracy and its institutions as well as tolerance of divergent views.

 

“The overwhelming support of so many, and the insistence on ensuring that due process and truth prevailed, has made this verdict possible,” he stated.

 

 

SIGNED:

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

#SarakiInRussia: Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment

#SarakiInRussia: Assures Russian Investors’ of Conducive Business Environment

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil, gas, agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy.

Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament – Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation – in Moscow, led by its Chairperson, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko.

“Russia could take a more active part in economic and business projects in Nigeria. Your State must necessarily play its role on the African continent,” Saraki said. “Together we could consider new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.”

He called for increased access for Nigerians willing to visit and do business in Russia, improved trade relations and military support to aid Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking and irregular migration.

He said that there is greater need for parliamentary cooperation and collaboration between the two parliaments in order to entrench better legislative practices, cross fertilize ideas and improve relations between both countries.

He said while Nigeria appreciates the assistance the Russian Government has rendered to Nigeria in the supply of military hardware to fight Boko Haram, more support is needed to fully restore security and normalcy in affected areas.

He said that the National Assembly is eager to work with the Russian Parliament to strengthen Nigeria-Russia relations and by extension the African continent.

“Russia and Nigeria need to strengthen cooperation for the prosperity of our peoples,” Saraki said.

On her part, Chairperson of the Federation Council, Ms. Valentina Matviyenko, said the Russian Parliament will continue to build on the good relations between Nigeria and Russia while collaborating closely with the National Assembly.

She thanked the President of the Senate and his delegation for the visit Senate and said that Russia values the existing good diplomatic relations between both countries.

END

Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate

COMMUNIQUE FROM KANO ROUNDTABLE ON DRUGS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE #SenateTacklesDrugAbuse (Monday, December 18th to Tuesday, December 19th 2017)

COMMUNIQUE FROM KANO ROUNDTABLE ON DRUGS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE #SenateTacklesDrugAbuse (Monday, December 18th to Tuesday, December 19th 2017)

 

Following expert presentations, analysis and deliberations leading up to, during and following the roundtable, the following key observations regarding the expected outcomes were made:

 

1. There was a critical paucity of data on drug use, prevalence, trends and patterns in Nigeria, and there is an associated near absence of institutional structures to collect, analyze and report such data. There are however consensus positions bolstered by non-structured observations that suggest the following:

 

a. Particularly in Kano, and the North-Western Geo-Political region of Nigeria, there is a high prevalence of use of licit, controlled medications particularly opioids such as Codeine containing cough syrup, and tramadol. There also appears to be an increase in diversity of methods of drug use, with “Shisha” which was traditionally reserved for the inhalation of tobacco, now increasingly used for other psychoactive substances.

 

b. Commonly abused psychoactive substances are generally easily accessible, regardless of their legal classification. All drugs legal and illegal are available and affordable to any interested member of society, regardless of age and health, risk (e.g. driving under the influence of alcohol) etc. The same can be said of most psychoactive substances.

 

c. In the course of implementation of its Project NGAV16 — “Response to Drugs and Related Organized Crime in Nigeria”, the UNODC carried out an assessment of attitudes on drug prevention, treatment and care among law enforcement agency operatives, the general public’s attitudes on drug prevention, treatment and care (DPTC) and the effectiveness of current outreach and advocacy programs. The result of these assessments revealed a low general awareness of drugs and their effects, difference between drug use and dependence and understanding of drug prevention, treatment and care. The majority of people generally have a negative attitude towards drug users and as a result this often leads to discrimination and stigma towards those using drugs.

 

d. It is generally understood that there is a critical need and shortage of specialized professional evidence-based facilities for the treatment and or rehabilitation of people with substance use disorders, and very little in place to address underlying psychosocial predisposing factors that place individuals at risk of drug use and dependence. These issues are even more pronounced with regards to Female drug users, a population which is generally agreed to be on the rise.

 

2. The Nigerian Government through a number of MDAs have the capacity to; limit access to psychoactive substances, thereby decreasing the use of and dependence on these substances. For psychoactive substances which have medical uses, particularly opiates, control systems are outlined in policies to allow access for medical and research purposes and limit recreational use. However, indicators point to the failure of such control systems. The Government and Civil Society also have the capacity to develop and implement interventions that prevent the initiation of psychoactive substance use, treat drug use disorders, address psychosocial issues related to drug use and provide rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals who are dependent on drugs. Through these initiatives, Government and Civil Society can decrease the demand for psychoactive substances. However, the outcomes of such initiatives are hardly encouraging. There are also sadly very limited deliberate efforts on the part of Government and Civil Society in the absence of treatment and rehabilitation services, to provide public health, harm reduction services to drug users, often times favouring a criminal justice approach which criminalizes the drug user rather than providing the needed help.

 

3. A key observation at the roundtable was the confusion of mandates of the various MDAs working on different aspects of drug control. Law Enforcement and regulatory agencies were effectively always able to site some law or policy that excused their actions (or inactions), and effectively shifted the blame for the consequences of such to another agency. While simultaneously requesting more resources to carry out what they understood to be their statutory mandate. Civil Society Organizations were largely found to be frustrated by what they viewed generally as deliberate actions by the government and its agencies to promote the prevalence of drug use in their communities. Yet there seemed to be an absence of laws and policies that regulate the activities of Civil Society Organizations, ensuring that services offered are done to ethical and professional standards, based on evidence of efficacy, and do no harm to the individuals they claim to help, and the communities they function in.

 

On the Basis of these Key Observations, the following Actionable Outcomes are Proposed:

 

Outcome 1: Develop a Coherent Legislative and Policy Context to address both the Control of Drugs (Psychoactive Drugs), and Interventions for People Who Use Drugs.

 

Output 1: National Drug Control Bill

 

INFOGRAPHIC SHOWING BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSED NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL BILL

· Sections of various different legislations and policies that deal with Drug Control Should be pulled together and harmonized into ONE drug Control Bill, with clear mandates for the various law enforcement and regulatory agencies like NDLEA, NAFDAC, Nigerian Police Force and framework for interagency cooperation towards Drug Control.

 

· As the name implies, the Drug Control Bill will NOT address issues of Prevention, Treatment and Care of Drug Users, particularly as the policy context shifts towards decriminalization of drug users.

 

Output 2: Nigerian Mental Health and Substance Abuse Bill

 

INFOGRAPHIC SHOWING BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSED NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH BILL

· “Mental Health” refers to a state of psychosocial well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, copes adequately with the normal stresses of life, displays resilience in the face of extreme life events, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a positive contribution to the community. When one considers this definition, it is clear that issues related to Mental health, are the primary reasons why individuals initiate and continue drug use, resulting in drug use disorders.

 

· Through the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Bill, the Nigerian Government will commit itself to promoting the well-being of its people, ensuring that mental health is valued, promoted, and protected and that mental health conditions which often predispose vulnerable individuals to Substance abuse and dependence, are treated and prevented and that timely, affordable, high quality and culturally appropriate mental health care is made available to the public. This Bill would:

 

I. Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health and Substance Abuse by, among others, formulating, developing, and implementing national policies, strategies, programs, and regulations relating to mental health and substance abuse;

 

II. Develop and establish a comprehensive, integrated, effective, and efficient national mental health care system responsive to the psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial needs of the Nigerian people;

 

III. Protect the rights and freedoms of persons with psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial health needs;

 

IV. Strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health and Substance abuse; and

 

V. Integrate strategies promoting mental health (and minimize the impact of Substance abuse) in educational institutions, the workplace, and in communities.

8th Senate Passes Another Anti-Graft Bill —This is a Promise Kept, says Saraki

8th Senate Passes Another Anti-Graft Bill

—This is a Promise Kept, says Saraki

 

The 8th Senate today, passed the Whistleblower Protection Bill.

 

The Bill, which seeks to encourage and facilitate the disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies was presented by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, chaired by Senator David Umaru, the member representing Niger East in the 8th National Assembly.

 

Otherwise known as “An Act to Protect Persons Making Disclosures for the Public Interest and Others from Reprisals, to Provide for the Matters Disclosed to be Properly Investigated and Dealt with and for other Purposes Related Therewith”, the Bill also seeks to ensure that persons who make disclosures and persons who may suffer reprisals in relation to such disclosures are protected under the law.

 

The Bill also specifies who is qualified to make disclosure of improper conduct; the procedure for making disclosures; and the protection due to ‘whistleblowers.’

 

Under the newly passed Bill, a person who makes a disclosure shall no

​t​ be subject to victimization by his or her employers or by fellow employees. Additionally, a person who makes a disclosure has the right to take legal action if he or she is victimized, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner.

 

Speaking on the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki stated that:

 

“This is a promise kept. Today, we have passed a landmark piece of legislation to fight corruption and protect patriotic Nigerians who are fighting corruption,” he said, “This Bill will protect the lives of those who risk themselves to expose corrupt practices in Nigeria.”

 

With the passage of this Bill, the Senate has concluded work on three anti-corruption Bills. In May 2017, it passed the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, while in June 2017, it passed the Witness Protection Bill.

 

The Bill to establish Special Anti-Corruption Courts has been sent to the Constitution Amendment Committee. The Proceeds of Crime Bill has been sent to the Senate Joint Committee on Anti-Corruption and Judiciary

 

END

 

​Signed:

Media Office of the Senate President

Nigerians In US Commend Senate For Passing Diaspora Commission Bill

Nigerians In US Commend Senate For Passing Diaspora Commission Bill

Nigerians in the United States have commended the 8th National Assembly for keeping to its promise by passing the Diaspora Commission Bill.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, had vowed during a courtesy visit by the group to the National Assembly last year for the Diaspora day, that his leadership would ensure the bill is passed without further delay.

Persistently, Nigerians in the Diaspora have been contributing money in billions and other resources home to assist the Federal Government boosting the nation’s economy with available statistics showing over 35 Billion dollars was remitted last year

While lauding the Senate for the quick passage of the bill, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Attorney, Samuel Adewusi, said the bill would provide for legitimate budget item to address Diaspora issues with seriousness and engagement of Nigerians in diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria.

Mr. Adewusi, in a statement made available to reporters on Friday, specifically added that the bill would also go a long way in boosting the economic growth of Nigeria, considering the huge amount remitted by Nigerians every year.

“Congratulations to the 8th Senate under the leadership of Distinguished Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Senator Rose Oko – Chairman Senate Committee on Diaspora & Civil Society –  for passing the Diaspora Commission Bill as promised.

“The efforts by the NIDO Worldwide Leadership should also be appreciated. During its visit to the Joint Plenary Session in February 2016, this is one of the major requests that were tabled to the Senate and the House.

“Much appreciation to all those involved in the past and present, such as Hon. Rita Orji, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, prior NIDO leadership, and our friends in the 8th National Assembly such as  Bamikole Omishore and many more,” said Attorney Adewusi.

He, however, assured that NIDO would continue to contribute its quota to the development of the country and calls on lawmakers to also immediately start working on the Bill to allow Nigerians in Diaspora to Vote in the next general election.

The bill is expected to be forwarded to Mr President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.

END

Signed

Media Office of the Senate President

Two-year Observance of The Abduction of Chibok School Girls.

#BringBackOurGirls

Two-year Observance of The Abduction of Chibok School Girls.

Today, the Senate passed a motion on the two year observance of the abduction of the 276 Chibok School Girls that were taken at gunpoint from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2012.

This abominable event, unforgettable in its own right – as one of the greatest mass abductions of young people in the history of the world – marked a crucial turning point in Nigeria’s war against the terrorist group Boko Haram. This is because since this episode came to light, the world began to pay attention to our collective struggle as a nation against radical insurgency.

Since then, many of us have rallied and campaigned in every way that we know how, and demanded as one nation that our young daughters and sisters be returned back to us safe and unscathed.

To aid in these efforts, we in the National Assembly have worked to empower our men and women in uniform by appropriating funds to ensure that they are properly equipped in their battles on the front lines. Because of this, since this administration took office nearly a year ago, we have recorded significant successes in our efforts to reclaim once-lost territory. To put it simply, our formidable armed forces have taken back large swarths of Nigerian territory that were once under Boko Haram control.

Nonetheless, more needs to be done to ensure that the communities affected by Boko Haram are resuscitated and rebuilt. Yet still, even more needs to be done to guarantee that never again in this history of our nation will we experience a tragedy like this.

Moving forward, to address the plight of the North East, the Senate will work expeditiously on the passage of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), that is aimed at restoring the livelihoods of our millions of internally displaced people (IDPs), and putting back our more than 10.5 million school-age children that are out of the classroom back in schools.

To aid the capabilities of our security agencies to combat terrorism in all its forms, laws like the Biometric Identification bill – which have passed second reading, will be fast-tracked to ensure that the Nigerian police and other relevant agencies have a robust crime and criminal tracking system that will enhance our national security and counter-terrorism efforts through the automation of criminal records with biometric identification data.

As we work to put the legislative frameworks in place to ensure that occurrences like the abduction of our Chibok Girls remains a thing of the past, the executive must treat the return of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and all other Nigerians that have been kidnapped by Boko Haram as an outright priority. We owe it to ourselves as a nation, and to their families to bring all our abducted countrymen and women home.

It is clear that with the pace that this government is going, this insurgency will be tackled once and for all. However, governments across all levels in the federation must work together to secure our young population. In this regard, solid security structures must also be put in place to guarantee that when our children leave their homes to get an education, they are safe and secure.

On our part, the Senate will continue to dig-up and work on the review of our existing laws that address counter-terrorism and security. As I have stated at different times, the work of nation building requires our collective effort. In a similar vein, the task of bringing back our girls requires our unconquerable resolve to do so.

Therefore, as we remember our abducted girls and our mission to ensure their safe return, we must not equivocate and we must not relent. Nigeria must not forget her daughters.

By Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki
President of The Senate

Saraki Assures On Sustainable Economic Policies

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said that the 8th Senate will collaborate with the Executive to ensure that the policies and programmes of the present administration aimed at reviving the economy are sustained on a  long term basis.
Saraki according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, stated this  when he received the national executive of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) led by its President, Professor Olugbenga Okunola.
He said the Senate is on a mission to ensure that the country harnesses her non-oil resources and achieve full diversification of the economy.
Saraki said: “For us in the 8th Senate we have said it that our focus is to continue to give support to those sectors of our economy that will provide employment, increase the earnings of government and the growth of the economy in general.
“And if you are talking about the growth of the economy, you have to give  particular consideration to the mining sector. And what do we need to do to get that done? I want to assure you that the message I will like you to take away is that the 8th Senate is ready to give all the support in ensuring that we truly begin to harness the hitherto the unexplored and neglected potentials that we have.
“We have been talking about these potentials for a long time. It is time to talk about realising the potentials and translating them to economic power. how to bring. That is our own vision and mission.
“We have all seen the downside of being a mono-product economy. We are all suffering from it now. When you see what is happening to our revenues, our foreign exchange inflows and particularly what is happening to even the foreign exchange rate due to our over dependence on crude oil.
“The projections that it is going to be down for a couple of years means that any serious minded country needs to look at the options available. And some of the things we are seeing now is because there is a lot of speculation out there.
“A lot of the speculators believe that we don’t have the political will to see through some of the policies and programmes aimed at diversifying the economy and that is why you see a lot of them are betting against the Naira. That is why you see all of a sudden, the Naira is rebounding because they are beginning to see that it appears that this government is committed on its policy.
“I want to assure you that we are committed. The political will is there. We are very determined to see that we diversify. All these things you are talking about are well known to a lot of us. The frustration has een that we have not been able to see it through. I want to assure you that this Senate is committed to ensure that we support the executive in sustaining these long term polices. This is important and that is where we must start from,” he said.
Earlier, Professor Gbenga Okunola, said the Society visited the Senate President to among others appreciate what the 8th Senate has been doing.
He said: “We have been talking about diversification of the nation’s economy over the years….I think as a society, as professionals, this is what we have been clamouring for over the years that we are sitting on buried riches and that the government is now saying that they want to take this serious gladdens us.
“That is why we are here to appreciate this government for what they are doing and we are ready to offer our professional help – we are not talking in terms of financial reward – but this is one thing we want to offer our country,” he said.
END
Signed
Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President

Saraki To Receive Report On Business Environment In Nigeria

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki will on today formally receive the Business Environment Legislative Review Report developed by a team of Legal Advisers to the ENABLE-DFID programme, led by Prof Paul Idornigie (SAN).

A statement from the Office of the Senate President in Abuja stated the report initiated by the Senate President was in fulfilment of the Legislative Agenda of the 8th National Assembly geared towards creating a business friendly environment in the country.

The statement added that: “Following the legislative agenda of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 8th National Assembly, and in consultation with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), the Nigerian Bar Association – Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) and other key private sector stakeholders; the Office of the Senate President initiated a review of the institutional, regulatory and legal instruments currently constraining and impeding business activity in Nigeria.

“With the technical aid and support of ENABLE-DFID and GEMS 3 programmes, a team of experts conducted a business environment legislative review covering the entire raft of legal structures affecting businesses today. The underlying objective of the review is to provide a framework for the assessment and improvement of legislation and policy affecting businesses in Nigeria”‎, the statement added.

Prof. Paul Idornigie led the team of Legal Advisers that conducted the research of business environment acts and bills and developed the Business Environment Legislative Review Report.

The report is expected to propose priority legislative areas that will provide a solid foundation of evidence to set priorities for new and revised business environment legislation by the National Assembly.

“With the reform of key sectors of the economy, there is a critical need to facilitate an enabling environment for private sector participation. There are Bills pending before the National Assembly that are of priority importance to doing business and overall private sector development in Nigeria, especially in infrastructure delivery”‎, it stated.

Expected at the presentation which will take place at the National Assembly today are the the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara; World Bank representatives; the Chairman of the NESG, Mr. Kyari Bukar, the Nigerian Bar Association – Section on Business Law  (NBA-SBL) representatives led by Asue Ighodalo; and private sector and media stakeholders.

END

81 SENATORS PASS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON SARAKI

81 SENATORS PASS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON SARAKI

The Senate on Tuesday passed a Vote of Confidence on Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s presidency, putting to bed insinuations in some quarters that it is divided.

The motion, which was moved by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo east), had a wide range of support base and acceptance of majority of the Senate, as 81 Senators supported the motion.

The passage of the Vote of Confidence on Saraki’s leadership as President of the Senate has effectively laid to rest insinuations of rancour among the Senators, who are said to be displeased with the Senate President.

It would be recalled that Saraki emerged President of the 8th Senate entirely on the goodwill of majority of the Senators who voted for him as their preferred choice against the wish of some party leader.

However, with the latest development, those rumours and insinuations of a divided Senate can be said to be over, as an overwhelming majority voted to pass the motion of a Vote of Confidence on his leadership.

Senate President, Dr Saraki in a welcome speech charged Senators to jettison any act of politicking that is capable of distracting them from the core business of governance and delivering change to their constituents.

Saraki was quoted as saying “Nigerians did not give us our mandate to come and pursue leadership, their mandate was for us to pursue governance and bring solutions to their burning issues.” also went ahead to say leadership is secondary to our primary responsibility of good governance.

Best Regards,

Banks

SAHARA REPORTERS AND ITS SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST SARAKI

SAHARA REPORTERS AND ITS SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST SARAKI

Attention of the Senate President’s media office has been drawn to a malicious fabrication by an on-line publication (Sahara Reporters) aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

First, as a Senator in the 7th National Assembly, the Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki never signed the report of the Ahmed Makarfi led Finance Committee investigation into the alleged non-Remittance by NNPC of $20 into the federation account. In his letter dated 3rd of June 2014 to the Committee withholding his signature he said and I quote  “It is my opinion that this report as laid has not fully addressed the matter referred to us adequately and conclusively. The report has not been definitive on its findings and has failed to address some of the critical issues I had raised during our meetings. For this reason; I am withholding my support and signature.”

The records of the committee are still accessible in the National Assembly and a copy is here attached.

Secondly, It is still on record that Senator Saraki is the only Senator in the committee that refused to sign the report even in the face of severe duress and personal inconvenience. Sen. Saraki during the investigation was known to have been very probing with his questions, meticulously reviewing the data offered by NNPC to get to the bottom of the issue. It would be recalled that though he did not make the last meeting of the committee, when the news broke that the Committee has cleared the NNPC, he was the first and the only senator to rebut the report saying “the recent media reports claiming that the Senate Committee on Finance has cleared NNPC of any unaccounted revenue fund are not true… I have been very active in the investigation, nothing significant has changed to suggest clearing of anyone”. See Thisday Newspapers of the 29th of May 2014 and also a web link http://leadership.ng/news/380803/unremitted-49-8bn-oil-revenue-saraki-denies-signing-report

The newspapers publications relating to this is all over the print and electronic media for all who want to find the truth. How is it then likely that he could have cut a deal with government on this matter and maintained such resolute stands? Only in the world of the fabricators of this report is this possible.

Thirdly, it is evident that Senator Saraki’ commitment to see that the missing funds are found and paid back into the Federation Account was never in doubt from day one. It would be recalled that Senator Saraki during this investigation had gone out of his way to collaborate with the IHS Information Analytics Expertise and MJHC Limited London two renowned international organisations with specialty on oil financials to do further forensic review on this matter also underscore the length at which he left no stone unturned to help the committee unravel the mystery surrounding the missing funds.

Also, Sen. Saraki never met with Jonathan on this report (committee met last on the 16th of February 2014). So the thought of Senator Saraki working to bring down the number or amount unremitted with Goodluck Jonathan  is completely false. For the avoidance of doubt, there has been no meeting of any type between  Senator Saraki and former President Jonathan since the Senator left PDP. So any suggestion that Ex-president Jonathan sent Chagoury to Senator Saraki with gifts /money to seek support from him on the report is totally false. Both the Sarakis and Chagourys have been family friends for over 26years.

We hereby request the general public to disregard the antics of Sahara Reporters. We further call on Sahara Reports to immediately retract this offending publication and offer an unequivocal apology to His Excellency Senator Saraki, the National Assembly and the citizenry of Nigeria for this unprovoked, reckless and mindless publication.

The Media Office of the Senate President hereby uses this opportunity to put it on record that the posts by Sahara Reporters are completely false with no iota of truth whatsoever. We also challenge Sahara Reporters to either post facts or any documentation with proof or desist from misleading the reading public with dirty works of fiction apparently commissioned by some politicians in an attempt to destabilize the legislative arm of government and the country as a whole.

It is obvious that Sahara Reporters in the last one month has no interest in other stories other than to fabricate fallacies and falsehood against the person of the Senate President and members of his family. While we are aware that the online publication is only doing the bidding of its sponsors and simply joining forces with political detractors who after failing to achieve their partisan aims believe that all is fair in war, we believe that journalism is a public trust and those who hold the trust should, even under extreme circumstance, refrain from abusing the trust. We therefore call on fellow citizens and all members of the international community to treat the Sahara Reporters’ publication as what they are: mere falsehood not to be accorded any measure of importance.

Signed

Bamikole Omishore

Special Assistant (New Media to Senate President)

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