As soon as the court session ended, the two top senate leaders and the presidency squared up outside the ring with Saraki firing the first shot.
In a statement he personally signed, the Senate President alleged that some cabals had seized the apparatus of government from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“… What has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda,” he said
He described their trial as latest onslaught on the legislature, and that it represented a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve.
“The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes.
“Let it be abundantly clear, both as a citizen and as a foremost Legislator, I will continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me. I will remain true and committed to the responsibilities that my citizenship and my office impose on me. Without doubt, the highest of those responsibilities is the steadfast refusal to surrender to the subversion of our democracy and the desecration of the Senate.
“This is a cross I am prepared to carry. If yielding to the nefarious agenda of a few individuals who are bent in undermining our democracy and destabilising the Federal government to satisfy their selfish interests is the alternative to losing my personal freedom, let the doors of jails be thrown open and I shall be a happy guest, “he said.
He said the charges filed by the Attorney General represented a violation of the principle of the Separation of Powers between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch as enshrined in the Constitution.
“Furthermore, it is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General. These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate
“This misguided action by the Attorney General begs the question, how does this promote the public interest and benefit the nation?”
Also in a statement he personally signed, the Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu, said he put his trust in God, the court, and the overwhelming solidarity of the good people of Nigeria.
“When the dust settles, Nigerians will see clearly that this charge is nothing but meretricious thrash. Time, occasions, and provocations like this will teach their own lessons.
“I hope that one chief lesson will be that democracy differs markedly from military rule and that public officer should never subvert the foundations of democracy by prioritizing the rule of man over the rule of law.
“Let us make no mistake about this: it is not Senator Ike Ekweremadu or Senator Bukola Saraki or the other accused persons that are on trial; rather the hallowed democratic principles of separation of powers, rule of law, the legislature itself, and indeed democracy are on a ridiculous trial.
“Mere anarchy is unleashed upon the land, but our courage must not fall apart. No condition is permanent and nothing lasts forever. For me, I find great comfort in the immortal words of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who said that history will vindicate the just and the wicked will not go unpunished,” he said.
Source: Daily Trust