The Presidency Sunday distanced itself from on-going trial of the Senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki, saying attempts to link his legal travails to President Muhammadu Buhari was unacceptable.
According to it, the view that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) can only act upon external instigation was equally uninformed.
The CCB had on Friday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the embattled Senate president on the ground that he could not stay in the comfort of his cozy office at the National Assembly while his trial was on-going.
Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who made the presidency’s position known, argued that there is no place in law that the Bureau and the Tribunal should take “instructions from any quarters.
“As an independent institution equal to any superior court of record, the tribunal is set up by the constitution to determine the issue of default, false declaration or forgery in assets declaration,” he added.
The presidential spokesman advised those who may be nursing disgruntled feelings about Saraki’s criminal trial to approach the court and seek redress constitutionally, adding that the trial of the Senate president “is purely a judicial process and has nothing to do with the presidency.”
The statement made available to newsmen noted: “If anyone has an axe to grind with what they are doing, they should do it in a judicial manner by challenging those actions in a proper court of law. Let them hire a good team of lawyers to prove their innocence.
“Government has no desire to persecute anybody. The president has vowed to respect the rule of law and this is what he is doing by staying out of this matter. He has said times without number that the war against corruption has no sacred cows.”
Shehu further contended that President Buhari had sworn to an oath to protect the constitution, asserting that he would not violate that oath.
“Even if the president wants to help, there is no way he can do anything. Is he going to ask the judge to stop the trial,” he queried.
Maintaining that the trial of Saraki is purely a judicial process, the type routinely dealt with by the CCB and the CCT, the presidential media aide said, “There are many cases like this that are going on.”