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EFCC Acting Chairman and Senate President Bukola Saraki
EFCC Acting Chairman and Senate President Bukola Saraki

Judging from its latest investigation on the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is easily convincing more Nigerians that it is acting on the instruction of some persons in the corridor of power, not to bring down Saraki, but destroy himself and the EFCC and by implication, rubbish the anti-graft effort of President Muhammadu Buhari.

It is high time Nigerians began to differentiate between real security issues and politically motivated intimidation by security agencies either working on instructions or simply acting to please their employers.

While in the real sense of it, security agencies should work independently and apolitically, observers need no further clarifications to conclude that some agencies are openly selective in their dispensation of justice.

The EFCC must particularly save the country from the embarrassments arising from its seemingly calculated attacks on perceived political opponents of the incumbent administration.

The curious fixation on Saraki by some security outfits in Nigeria calls for caution in that if not addressed, these security agents only act more as attack dogs of the executive, particularly the presidency instead of operating professionally in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians amid the burgeoning national security challenges.

Watchers of the Nigerian political landscape are not oblivious of the fact that Saraki has been through many orchestrated travails, which discerning minds are aware were targeted at silencing him as he was considered anti-Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) national leadership after he emerged Senate President without the ruling party’s approval.

But it is worthy of note to recall that after the torturous 1018 days from September 22, 2015, when he started facing the media-trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over trumped up charges of false assets’ declaration, the Supreme Court, in a judgment on July 6, affirmed the June 2017 decision of the CCT, which ruled that the prosecution failed to prove the case against Saraki.

The Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson-led Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had struck out 15 out of the 18-counts amended charges of false assets’ declaration brought against Saraki by the federal government and ordered the CCB to conduct a fresh trial on three of the charges. 

The three remaining charges were eventually struck out, exonerating and vindicating the former Kwara State governor, who sustained his argument that his trial was politically motivated. Indeed, it was.

Elated that the court observed too that certain agents took over the responsibility of the CCB in his trial, and that it could be inferred that the case was done towards a pre-determined end, Saraki said back then at the end of the trial that “God has vindicated me today before the judgment of man, and I am most thankful and humbled at His grace and infinite mercies.”

Though Saraki escaped the snare of his enemies by stroke of luck and a virile court, the forces regrouped and came up with yet another strategy, which was to implicate Saraki as involved in the Offa bank robbery of April 5, 2018 during which no fewer than 32 persons were killed, including a pregnant woman and nine police officers.

Though still an ongoing investigation, Saraki has maintained innocence. Just as in the earlier case, he said the investigation was politically-motivated to implicate him. 

Thus, when the news broke that the principal suspect in the armed robbery attack, Michael Adikwu, had died in custody under questionable circumstances, Saraki in a statement by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, reiterated that he has been vindicated, because he knew long ahead that the chap had been killed to conceal facts and muddle up the case.

And following his earlier claims that the suspect had been murdered in police custody to distort the story, he insisted on an inquiry into the death to unravel how the investigation into the robbery incident was conducted by the police and whether the investigation followed the normal process and comply with global best practices.

Saraki is asking the police to state why it took them so long to make the disclosure about the death of the principal suspect after they categorically denied it at the time he (Saraki) disclosed the information and it was reported in the media.

There is no gainsaying that the relationship between the executive and the National Assembly is very strained. At the peak of the no-love-lost relationship, masked men of the Department of State Services (DSS) took over the National Assembly and prevented lawmakers as well as journalists from gaining access into their chambers.

That event of August 7, 2018 was due to the fact that Saraki had summoned an emergency meeting to discuss issues which included the massive defections that affected the ruling APC, majorly the rumour of plans to impeach the Senate President and the pending 2019 elections supplementary budget, among others.

It was an incident that prompted then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to direct the sack of the Director General of DSS, Lawal Musa Daura with immediate effect.

Fearing that Saraki had a strong hold on the Senate and not ready to experience his return to the National Assembly in the 9th assembly, forces in the presidency deplored every arsenal at their disposal to dislodge him from the political control in his home state of Kwara but now that his influence would be a major factor in the emergence of the leadership of 9thassembly, the EFCC has gone to work against him.

The ruling APC, especially its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has been working round the clock to impose a set of leadership on the two chambers of the National Assembly and this could not be achieved without a fight from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and as such, Saraki becomes a target.

Reliable sources close to Saraki have said that the politically savvy outgoing Senate President has something up his sleeves in the build-up to the election of his successor while on the other hand, the APC at every level is itching to take absolute control of the next assembly. It is the more reason Saraki must be silenced and that is exactly what is playing out and the lawmakers are aware of it.

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