The problems of Nigeria’s embattled senate president, Bukola Saraki, might have taken another dimension has reports have revealed that senators under the Senate Unity Forum had begun to woo senators loyal to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki in the face of the ongoing trial of the Mr Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Troubled senator Bukola Saraki
It would be recalled that of Senate Unity Forum who were opposed to the emergence of Saraki as senate president and are believed to be loyal to the leadership of the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC).
It is believed that the group in in new move, might have succeeded in the support of 12 pro-Saraki senators who are mainly members of the opposition party Peoples Democratic Party members, Punch reports.
It was also reported that the group has had several meetings with leadership of the APC including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Chief Bisi Akande on how to get the required 73 members needed to oust the senate president.
“We know that getting the required figure to carry out an impeachment at the moment would be a herculean task but honestly we hope to achieve it very soon. Already there has been a serious move to get our former party members who are with Saraki now back to our camp.
“I can also confirm to you that we have the support of about 12 Peoples Democratic Party senators who are ready to support any move against Saraki. Don’t forget that some ranking PDP senators are still aggrieved over the emergence of freshers as their principal officers,” a member of the group from the South-West geopolitical zone told the newspaper.
Further checks by one of our correspondents also revealed that some of the APC leaders who met with the SUF members had asked the anti – Saraki senators to work on some influential PDP senators who could get their colleagues to support their course.
Another source who was questioned over the move and quoted said, “I am not in Abuja now, we shall resume on Monday. I don’t have specific information at the moment but what I can assure you of is that our leaders have said that it is fight to finish.
“We learnt that the like minds senators are already working on some of their supporters in the PDP camp to reject the ministerial list by refusing to screen them but we are also ready for them. I won’t disclose our strategy for now.”
A senator told the news men that Saraki might step aside to save his face from the impending embarrassment at the end of the CCT trial.
“We know that he might want to give conditions like a settlement of his CCT case out of court, withdrawing of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charges against his wife and an end to his former manager’s trial for alleged fraud at the Société Générale Bank. We could help him in this regard to have a soft landing and avoid disgrace,“ he said.
But a pro-Saraki senator maintained that the seat of the Senate President was not threatened because the Code of Conduct Tribunal had no jurisdiction to try Senator Bukola Saraki for any criminal offence.
“The idea that members of the SUF are reaching out to pro-Saraki senators in the senate does not arise because majority of the members of the upper chamber had freely elected their presiding officers and would not be in a hurry to remove them because of any politically motivated trial by a tribunal which lacks jurisdiction to do so.
“Nobody can impeach or arrest the Senate President, and the lawyers are there to argue out the competence or otherwise of the CCT to try the case preferred against him. More than 80 senators had signed a document with which they unanimously passed a vote of confidence on their president.
“No senator had approached any of us on any issue of impeachment because they know the answer already. They cannot get 73 senators to impeach the Senate President. They are playing games and we are also ready for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the APC may have concluded plans to replace the embattled Senate president.
Saraki recently said his appearance before the Code of Conduct Tribunal has further demonstrated his believe in the rule of law and respect for the judiciary.