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Journalists, others locked out as Saraki, Ekweremadu’s trial for alleged forgery begins

By News Express on 27/06/2016

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, are in court to face trial on alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

The two Senate leaders are being arraigned along with a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.

All four accused persons are seated in court.

The trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, trying to organise the court, asked supporters to vacate their seats so that lawyers could seat.

Justice Halilu also asked journalists and lawyers to leave the court.

He said names of persons that would be allowed in would be called.

Lawmakers supporting the Senate President are also locked outside the court.

In the affidavit filed on June 10, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), swore that the investigation into the case had been concluded.

The affidavit read: “The charges filed through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, by the Federal Government, against the senators reads 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”.

It also accused them of allegedly forging the Order, 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.

Senator Saraki has maintained that he knows nothing about how the rules adopted in the inauguration of the Eighth Senate on June 9, 2015 was formulated.

He said the on-going efforts to drag him into a case of forgery before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, was just another phase in the orchestrated persecution he has faced since he emerged as Senate President a little over a year ago.

Saraki, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he was not a part of the leadership of the 7th Senate that made the rules in question and prior to his unanimous election as Senate President on June 9, 2015, he was merely a Senator-elect like all his colleagues and therefore was not in a position to influence the rules that were to be used in the conduct of the election. (Channels TV)

•Photo shows Saraki and Ekweremadu.

Source News Express

Posted 27/06/2016 10:02:17 AM

 

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