Anti-Bukola Saraki senators on the platform of the Senate Unity Forum, SUF, yesterday said the red chamber lacked the capacity to investigate the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umaru, for alleged corruption.
The forum added that it has uncovered a procedural error in the petition submitted to the Senate, which levelled corruption allegations against the CCT chairman.
The Senate last week received a petition against the Chairman of the CCT, before whom, Senate President Saraki is standing trial on a 13-count charge of corruption.
A group, Anti-Corruption Network, submitted the petition through Senator Obinna Ogba (PDP/Ebonyi Central).
In the petitions, the ACN alleged that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation failed in its duty in arraigning Justice Umaru for corruption.
The petitions alleged that the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wrote an “investigation report” to the AGF about evidence of criminal allegations against two suspects from CCT, namely Justice Umaru and Ali Gambo Abdulahi.
It claimed that while the second suspect, Ali Gambo, was prosecuted, “Danladi has been left unprosecuted” even after the then AGF ordered their trial.
“This is a breach of the order of AGF. Since then, the office of the Attorney General has been silent on this failure to prosecute as directed”, the petition added.
Coming under a point of order during the Senate plenary yesterday, the forum’s spokesperson, Senator Kabiru Marafa, attempted to pick a hole in the petition but he was ruled out of order by the Senate president.
Marafa, who felt slighted, told reporters that “impunity and tyranny have become the order of the day in the Senate”.
He explained that the petitions submitted against the Office of Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) and CCT chairman were not properly presented.
The senator, who is representing Zamfara Central on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, pointed out that the presenter of the petitions did not indicate his name in accordance with Section 41(5) of the Senate standing rules.
He further claimed that the presentation of the petitions was unethical.
Marafa argued that it was public knowledge that Saraki was an interested party considering his case before the CCT, which the Supreme Court has ordered a stay of proceedings.
The lawmaker said they have found out that the Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network (Dino Melaye), is a senator.
He further noted that the senator was a member of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions charged to probe Umar.
The forum’s spokesman insisted that it would be difficult for the CCT chairman to get fair hearing during the Senate investigation.
On Saraki’s decision to rule him out of order, Marafa described the action as “open tyranny and impunity”, saying Nigerians should stop the Senate president from continuing with the attitude.
He noted that the Senate Rule is specific that when a senator is standing on point of order, he/she must be allowed to make his point.
He said: “Today, I rose to speak on something that is fundamental. But to my surprise, the Senate president is becoming more desperate. This is open tyranny and impunity of the highest standard. The consequences of this will only make the Senate ungovernable in future”.