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Tag Archives: Bukola Saraki

Ekweremadu doing dirty work for Saraki – Senator

Senator  Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West), has accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of using his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to do his “dirty work”.

He made this accusation during an interview with Daily Trust, where he also accused Mr. Saraki of leading the Senate ”by proxy”.

Mr. Adamu was one of the Senators who opposed the amendment of the election sequence by his colleagues and has since defended his actions, stating that he acted ultimately in the interest of democracy and the country.

He was eventually removed as the leader of the Northern Senators Forum, an action many linked to his daring to oppose the senate leadership.

The former governor of Nasarawa state said there have been attacks on him as a ranking senator.

He also denied allegations that he was plotting to destabilise the Senate and cause a change of its leadership.

“I have no problem with the senate president; I’m not looking for his seat but somehow he is a kind of guy who is operating by proxy, principle of proxy. You know he has errand boys who take it upon themselves to do the hatchet man’s job. If there is anything that is going to happen and he feels it will be a bit hard to swallow, he will make sure he is not on the stage and he will have Ike Ekweremadu to do the dirty work for him.

“Yes, I may not have supported Saraki’s emergence as the senate president because I wasn’t part of the circumstances that produced him; but in order to make for peace, I was talked to and we decided to let the sleeping dogs lie.

“The leadership of the government, the presidency and the party didn’t fight when this thing happened under their watch, so I felt there was no point to fight to any ridiculous level. In this room that we are having this interview, people from outside the senate came wanting me to vie (for the Senate presidency) but I said no. In the end, people who wanted to make peace came and said we should give it a chance and we made it very possible to have peace and I have never changed my mind on that.”

Reacting to reports that monkeys ‘absconded’ with N70 million belonging to Northern Senators’ Forum that was kept in his farm, Mr. Adamu said people making the accusation were being used to give him a bad name.

“In order to give a dog a bad name, they now went to say that they had N70m that I mismanaged or whatever. The NSF, to the best of my knowledge, has never had N70m, at least not during my tenure that they purported it was mismanaged. We inherited something in the region of N62m/N63m that was declared by the outgone secretary of the forum who happens to be the present Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan. I didn’t touch one kobo until when we were going to Katsina for the NSF retreat. When we were going, we got the same guys to sign for the transport fares.

“Every senator that attended was paid N250, 000 as allowance for his two days and everyone also got N150, 000 for return ticket. They got these and they signed. The remaining money was returned to Abuja and was paid back into the account.

“You know, when you talk of money, everybody’s attention will be attracted. They did this to get attention, but this is just garbage, and for the allegation, it is up to them to prove.”

Senator denies plotting to remove Saraki

Abdullahi Adamu, the senator accused of plotting to remove the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has denied the allegation.

Mr. Adamu said the Senate President is “like a son” to him and at no time did he make a move to oust him from power.

At the plenary on Thursday, Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi-PDP) accused Mr. Adamu of plotting, in collaboration with some other senators, to remove Mr. Saraki as Senate President.

He tendered what he called ‘documentary evidence’ of the plot to support his claim.

Mr. Adamu was not at the plenary when the allegation was raised against him.

He later spoke by phone with journalists, who shared the details with PREMIUM TIMES.

Reacting to the allegation Thursday evening, Mr. Adamu said at no time was he interested in becoming the Senate President.

“‎I’m not in town. I lost someone and I’m presently in Nasarawa State. However, a colleague called me and drew my attention to what happened on the floor of the senate today. It is amusing but very saddening at the same time.

“I am not in anyway after Saraki. Saraki is like a son to me. I have every right to contest for the Senate President seat three years ago when the 8th Senate was inaugurated, but I never did because I wasn’t interested. It is therefore, not logical for anyone to say I’m interested in the seat now, and will be planning to destabilise the Senate. To achieve what? For what purpose? It is not right for anyone to make such unfounded insinuations.

“We are almost three years in office, election year is drawing nearer, and I think any one thinking of upstaging the leadership of the Senate for any reason will only be fighting a lost battle because it is not what should naturally occupy the mind of any serious-minded lawmaker now.”

He vowed to appear before the ethics committee drafted to investigate the matter.

“I am not in anyway afraid of anyone who thinks I’ve offended him, I have the neck to carry my cross, but no one should cook up lies just to discredit me or any senator for that matter.

“If I’m asked to appear before the committee on Ethics and Privileges, I will come out clean because whoever raises the allegations will have to come out and present incontrovertible facts to prove the allegations.

“Then, names of other so-called collaborators will be made known, they will be confronted, evidence of such meeting will be produced, those accused will be asked to defend themselves, and recommendations will be made by the committee based on facts presented to it.”

Mr. Adamu was one of the 10 senators who publicly criticised the Senate’s passage of the Electoral Act. He said the amendment to section 25 of the act, which re-ordered the sequence of election, was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

One week after the confrontation, Mr. Adamu was removed as chairman Northern Senators Forum amid allegations of mismanaging N70 million belonging to the group.

Mr. Adamu in his reaction on Thursday vowed to continue to fight for what he believes in.

“As for me, let me repeat that I’m not in anyway after Saraki, I can’t be after Saraki, and I won’t do anything to upstage the leadership as being claimed because it’s a fruitless venture.

“But if I believe strongly in cause, I stand by it. If I’ve offended anyone by my strong stand on some issues in the Senate in accordance with my conviction, I stand by it anytime. But the issue of trying to cause disaffection in the senate is a no issues at all.

“Whatever we do in this world, we must be ready to bear our cross, I’m ready to bear mine. Anyone who know me will say clearly that I’m not plotting to remove Saraki. Let them look for another thing to say.”
“I am not in anyway afraid of anyone who thinks I’ve offended him, I have the neck to carry my cross, but no one should cook up lies just to discredit me or any senator for that matter.

“If I’m asked to appear before the committee on Ethics and Privileges, I will come out clean because whoever raises the allegations will have to come out and present incontrovertible facts to prove the allegations. Then, names of other so called collaborators will be made known, they will be confronted, evidence of such meeting will be produced, those accused will be asked to defend themselves, and recommendations will be made by the committee based on facts presented to it.”

Mr. Adamu was one of the ten senators who publicly criticised the Senate’s passage of the electoral act. He said the amendment to section 25 of the act, which re-ordered the sequence of election, was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.

One week after the confrontation, Mr. Adamu was removed as chairman Northern Senators Forum amid allegations of mismanaging N70 million belonging to the group.

Senator says money exchanging hands in plot to remove Saraki

Obinna Ogba, senator representing Ebonyi central, says he has evidence of an alleged plan by Abdullahi Adamu, senator representing Nasarawa west, against Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Adamu is one of the senator’s who kicked against the amended election timetable for 2019.

He was later removed as chairman of the northern senators’ forum after being accused “financial mismanagement and maladministration”.

Speaking on the floor of the senate on Thursday, Ogba said he has a transcript of Adamu speaking with other people about his plans.

The Ebonyi lawmaker said when Isah Misau, senator representing Bauchi central, raised the matter earlier, it was not taken seriously.

“I rise this morning to bring to the notice of the senate that there is a plan by some people in this senate, maybe under the leadership of my distinguished colleague, particularly senator Abdullahi Adamu. Mr. President, you remember in January, distinguished senator Misau made a comment here that there was a plan to remove the Senate President and in fact the leadership,” he said.

“Now, I have reliable information that some people are already planning to destabilise the senate, including the senate leadership by organising demonstration of which money is already exchanging hands. I believe that all of us are all leaders in this in this country and everybody who see something that will destabilise the country or the senate or even the democracy should avoid it.

“As we are here, if there is any is going on, you have the opportunity to raise it and not to go outside the chambers to start planning civil resistance, market women to come for demonstration against the leadership of the senate.

“Mr. President, I want this senate to investigate this matter properly. I have evidence to show what I’m saying. There is a telephone conversation going on which any other person can also print it out, between senator Abdullahi Adamu and some other people.”

After laying his evidence, Ike Ekeweremadu, deputy senate president, said anyone planning to destabilise the country “is not doing us good”.

“The difference between military, autocratic regime and any other oppressive regime is the parliament. Once we remove the parliament, there is going to be problem. In whatever we do, we must continue to preserve the sanctity of the parliament,” Ekeweremadu said.

Buhari asks UK’s Serious Fraud Office to probe how Saraki, Ekweremadu acquired luxury homes in London

The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), is on the verge on launching an investigation under the Unexplained Wealth Order into how Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, President and Deputy President of the Senate respectively, acquired pricey landed properties in London.

The decision came after the SFO received a letter from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Saraki, at various times governor of Kwara State and  Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is the owner of two London properties valued at about £15million. Sources at the SFO told SaharaReporters that his properties to be investigated are located at No. 7 and 8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London.

Mr.Ekweremadu, a former Secretary to the Government and Chief of Staff to the governor of Enugu state. The Senator acquired two properties worth £4m in London via fronts.

The properties are Flat 4 Varsity Court, Homer Street, WIH, 4NW London and 52 Ayleston Avenue NW6 7AB, London. SFO sources said there is a serious curiosity in the agency that Mr. Ike Ekweremadu acquired Flat 4, Varsity Court, Homer Street, WIH 4NW, London, under the guise of Ikeoha Foundation, which is registered with Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission as a charity. The property is worth £830, 000.

The Deputy Senate President acquired the second property using a shell company, Property Circle Ltd Incorporated, which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The property is worth £2.9million.

SaharaReporters gathered from SFO operatives that another property in the Varsity Court, purportedly owned by C & V Management Company Ltd and 44 Homer Street purportedly owned by SJW Estates Ltd, incorporated in Jersey, will also be investigated. The value of the property is £18.5million.

In addition to Messrs. Saraki and Ekweremadu, Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan, a senator, is also to be investigated by the SFO. Mr. Akpan, a former Akwa Ibom State Finance Commissioner, disclosed in his assets declaration form dated August 8, 2015, that he owns has a number of landed properties in London. SFO sources said the Mr. Akpan claimed to have acquired the properties through Barclays Bank of London-financed mortgage totaling £1million.

“The SFO will investigate the circumstances under which Senator Bassey Albert Akpan acquired all these landed properties in the United Kingdom. The circumstances are suspicious, taking into account that for the past 10 years, he has always been a public officer and his legitimate earnings are far below the worth of the assets he has acquired in the United Kingdom,” said an SFO source.

The SFO source said they have received encouraging cooperation from the Buhari regime explaining that the aforementioned politicians couldn’t have afforded the properties through lawful means, the regime in a letter to the SFO detailed their salaries and emoluments as well as revealing that they did not declare the assets as required by law.

Saraki asks state assemblies to block pension of ex-govs

Senate President Bukola Saraki has called on house of assemblies to take a cue from Kwara and pass their own versions of the bill suspending payment of pension to former governors and deputy governors.

Kwara assembly passed the bill on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, Saraki commended Ali Ahmad, speaker of the assembly, for working to pass the bill.

The nation’s number three citizen said he influenced the action of the lawmakers.

“I am pleased that following my conversation with Kwara speaker, Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad, two months ago, the bill to suspend the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies when they hold a political or public office was passed into law yesterday by the Kwara house of assembly,” Saraki said.

“Moving forward, it is my hope that other state assemblies take a cue from Kwara state and pass similar pieces of legislation into law.”

Saraki, who governed Kwara between 2003 and 2011, was criticised for collecting pension from the state government.

Last year, the senate president said he had written a letter to the government to stop paying him pension.

“I’m not collecting pension; the moment I saw that allegation, I wrote to my state to stop my pension,” he had said in an interview.

“So, I speak for myself on that part; I’m not doing that, I am not receiving pension from my state.”

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had asked Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to take legal action against former governors, who are now either senators or ministers so as to recover an alleged N40bn earned indouble payment.

SERAP listed Rabiu Kwankwaso, Godswill Akpabio, Theodore Orji, Abdullahi Adamu, Sam Egwu, Shaaba Lafiagi, are among former governors receiving double emoluments and large severance benefits from their states.

Others named are Joshua Dariye, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Sani Yarima, Danjuma Goje, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Adamu Aliero, George Akume, Biodun Olujimi, Enyinaya Harcourt Abaribe, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, Chris Ngige and Babatunde Fashola.

Saraki invites seven-year old comedienne, Emmanuella to Senate

President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, has invited popular Nigerian comedienne, Emmanuella Samuel, to the upper legislative chamber, describing her story as an inspiration.

Mr. Saraki made the invitation in posts on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts on Sunday, asking the seven-year to come to the Senate to discuss how to develop young talents in the Nigerian creative industry.

His invitation is sequel to an announcement Miss Samuel made that she was set to feature in a Disney Hollywood film.

Miss Samuel had written, “Thanks @disneystudios God bless everyone whose support has added to bringing us here. I never dreamed of being here so soon. I miss Success. I love you all,” on her official Instagram page.

“Congratulations Emmanuella! Make sure you make them laugh over there.

“Your story is an inspiration. Come by the Nigerian Senate sometime, let’s discuss how we can develop the potential of our young talents in the creative industry,” Mr. Saraki said.

Saraki sympathises with CCT chairman over EFCC ‘House of cards’ case

Senate President Bukola Saraki has sympathised with Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), over his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC has accused Umar of receiving gratification to influence a case that was before him.

For this, the anti-graft agency filed a two-count charge against him.

But in a series of tweets and just before the resumption of his CCT trial on Tuesday, Saraki said he found it amusing that the EFCC thinks Umar has a case to answer after it cleared him in 2016.

The senate president expressed his confidence in the judiciary to do justice.

“I sympathize with the chairman of the tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, for his travail in the hands of the EFCC which suddenly woke up four days to the resumption of this case to file criminal charges against him,” he tweeted.

“You will recall that in April 2016, when our lawyers asked the Tribunal Chairman to recuse himself from our case, because of the criminal investigation against him, the EFCC swiftly cleared Mr. Umar of any wrongdoing.

“Now, I find it amusing, that in a dramatic turnaround, this same EFCC now thinks that Mr. Umar has a case to answer just before the commencement of my case before him. What has changed since April 2016?

“As much as many Nigerians want to continue to believe that this my case is merely about asset declaration irregularities, the maneuvers, manipulation, intrigues, schemes, and “House of Cards” nature of this whole case proves otherwise.

“I really wonder whether those who genuinely love this government appreciate the damage that all this is doing to our so-called ‘War Against Corruption.’

“However, in all of this, my confidence in the judiciary and its ability to do justice in all cases, remains unshaken.”

Drama as Saraki closes defence after calling ex-CCB member as only witness

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, opened and closed his defence before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in respect of the three charges of false assets declaration instituted against him.

Saraki’s defence team announced that they were closing their case after calling their only witness on Tuesday

The closing of the case was dramatic as the defence had earlier announced on Tuesday that there were four defence witnesses.

But shortly after the witness, a former member of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Dr. Ademola Adebo, gave evidence and was cross-examined by the prosecution on Tuesday, the defence team announced that they were closing their case

A member of the defence team, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), who led Adebo in evidence, had announced at the beginning of the Tuesday’s proceedings that they had proposed four defence witnesses.

After the cross-examination of the witness by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Usoro attempted to ask two re-examination questions.

The re-examination questions were objected to by the prosecution

The tribunal sustained the objections.

Usoro was still engaging the two CCT members on the next hearing date for continuation of the defence when the lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), approached Saraki who was seated in the dock.

Agabi, after chatting with Saraki for a few seconds, returned to his seat to announce the closing of the defence’s case

The CCT chairman, Danladi Umar, fixed February 27 for adoption of addresses.

A date for judgment would be fixed after parties adopt their addresses on February 27.

Saraki’s trial resumed on Tuesday following the December 12, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which restored three out of the entire 18 counts earlier dismissed by the CCT led by Danladi Umar.

Following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the CCT had issued a hearing notice inviting parties to the case to resume trial on the three charges today (Tuesday).

At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, Saraki’s team called Adebo as the first defence witness.

Benue Killings: Your observations are “incorrect”, Buhari tells Saraki

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a swipe at Senate President Bukola Saraki in a recent letter to the top lawmaker on the lingering crisis in Benue and other states in central Nigeria.

In the January 25 letter addressed to Mr. Saraki, Mr. Buhari enumerated the actions so far taken by his government towards resolving the crisis that has left hundreds dead within the past one month alone.

The president said his government has taken a series of actions that included ordering security chiefs to move to the epicentre of the crisis while senior cabinet officials were asked to find political solutions where possible.

Mr. Saraki had earlier last month led the Senate to reach a string of strongly-worded resolutions about the crisis and the failings or outright inability of the Buhari administration to forestall it.

The lawmakers’ resolutions followed the spate of killings in Benue State, including the January 1 suspected herdsmen rampage that left more than 70 villagers dead and the January 8 killings of police officers in the state.

On Wednesday, Governor Samuel Ortom imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew following police’s confirmation that seven Fulani travellers had been lynched and set alight in Gboko, an industrial town about 90 kilometres southeast of Makurdi, the state capital.

After listing all his interventions, which ranged from a deployment of special forces and a broad-based consultation with key parties to the violence, Mr. Buhari said it was wrong for the Senate to accuse him of doing too little about the crisis.

“To infer, therefore that nothing has been done is incorrect,” Mr. Buhari told Mr. Saraki in the letter which was read on the floor of the Senate Thursday. “The police are strenuously working to apprehend the rest of the culprits of these heartless killings.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, declined comments about the president’s jab at his principal Thursday evening.

“There is no question I can take on that,” Mr. Olaniyonu said. “The letter was read on the floor of the Senate and the appropriate response has been issued.”

The president first ordered the Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris to move to Benue in the second week of January, a directive he emphasised in his letter to Mr. Saraki.

“Furthermore, I have instructed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State, redeploy forces to the most sensitive areas.

“The Federal Government is initiating additional measures to address these and other security challenges, alleviate the consequences of these attacks and forestall reoccurrence,” the president said.

Still, the president said, key elements of the Senate’s resolutions would be looked into for prompt action.

“The Senate Resolutions itemised in your letter will be taken into consideration and I am instructing all relevant MDAs to factor them in their work,” the president said in the letter which was made available to journalists by presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina Thursday afternoon.

National Assembly is underfunded, says Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has lamented that the National Assembly is grappling with funding constraints in carrying out its statutory functions.

Mr. Saraki noted that contrary to public perception that the National Assembly is being overfunded, increase in legislative activities especially that of the 8th senate has created funding constraint for the legislative arm of government

According to a statement by his special assistant on print media, Chuks Okocha, the senate president said this when he paid a visit to the chairman and members of the National Assembly Service Commission at its temporary office located in Utako, Abuja, on Wednesday.

In response to a request by the chairman of NASC, Adamu Fika, to have a permanent office of the commission inside the National Assembly complex, Mr. Saraki pledged his support towards the project, while noting that adequate funding remains the major challenge of the National Assembly.

The statement quoted him as saying, “One of the things that I see here today is the issue of budgetary constraints. However, the impression around the country is often that the National Assembly has too much money. But we have seen the challenges of the last few years.”

He added that the bulk of work of the lawmakers, which have increased in recent years, account for the rise in funding requirement.

The statement further quoted him as saying, “As we work through the number of bills passed, the public hearings held, and the number of ad-hoc committees that have been established — we know the challenges of not being able to fund some of our activities.

“So far, I am happy to report that despite these constraints, the 8th Senate has been able to surpass all previous Senates in the number of Bills that we have passed in 2-years — despite the funding gaps.

“We know that as we continue over time, people will begin to have more confidence in the National Assembly. However, right now, the challenges that we have are the issue of perception, and the issue of funding. We need to work hard to change this,” he said.

Mr. Saraki who is also the chairman of the National Assembly, sought the commission’s cooperation in redeeming the image of the legislative arm of government.

“Therefore, we all have a lot of work in trying to make the people appreciate the role of the legislature in our democracy,” Mr. Saraki said. “This has not been easy, this is why I am sure that working with the Commission, we can work towards this together so that we can improve the image of the National Assembly.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the NASC, DrAdamu Fika, lamented that the commission still operates from a rented apartment with the attendant cost.