Major Trouble, As EFCC Set To Arrest And Lock Up Saraki, Untill The 9th Senate Leadership Is Elected

By Post-Nigeria: May 18, 2019 09:59

Major Trouble, As EFCC Set To Arrest And Lock Up Saraki, Untill The 9th Senate Leadership Is Elected

The plot to weaken the opposition against the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan, the preferred choice of the All Progressives Congress, APC, national Leadership, for the position of Senate President of the 9th National Assembly, has reached an advanced stage 

It was gathered in Abuja, on Friday night, that the ruling party is leaving nothing to chance, as it is prepared to take full advantage of pending cases before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to whip uncooperative Lawmakers into line.

It was learnt that the party’s Strategists have reached the conclusion, that it would be dangerous to underestimate the influence of the outgoing President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who they argued was keenly interested in who will succeed him.

In order to checkmate him, there are strong indications that the EFCC may arrest and detain him, after his tenure officially ends, and keep him until new Principal Officers are elected in the 9th National Assembly

This plot is part of the strategies being considered by the APC, in a bid to destabilise the opposition and whip other contenders into line.

A top-ranking Security Official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the Media, explained that investigations into Saraki’s stewardship as Kwara State Governor, and later Senate President, is part of a larger plot by the current administration, to clip his political wings and ensure the APC has its way.

Also being investigated by the anti-graft Agency, is the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Patrick Giwa.

The Clerk was grilled by the EFCC, over alleged corruption infraction and diversion of the Duty Tour Allowances of Legislative Aides to members of the National Assembly.

The EFCC has acted on a petition sent to it by the Legislative Aides, a copy of which was sent to Buhari.

The signatories to the petition were Messrs Chinedu Nwokeukwu and Sunday Chuba, on behalf of over 3,000 Legislative Aides.

A source said: “The Executive, and by extension, the APC, are desperate to install Senator Lawan as the next Senate President, but they know that Saraki may frustrate their plans. With him in the Upper Chamber, the party may not succeed in its bid to have its Candidate as the next Senate President.

“So, the ongoing investigation of Saraki has become a tool to be used for the advancement of their cause; the plan is for the EFCC to arrest Saraki and keep him out of circulation, shortly before the inauguration of the National Assembly, and the election of the Principal Officers.

“This was the reason the Commission grilled the National Assembly Clerk and other Officials, about the finances of the Assembly, and other issues relating to the procedure for the election of the Leaders of the 9th Assembly.”

Another source noted that with Saraki out of the way, the plot against Lawan by other contenders to the Senate Presidency, like the former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, and Senator Danjuma Goje, could easily be overwhelmed by pro-Lawan Senators, backed by the ruling party.

It was further gathered that the EFCC has been dragged into the Senate Presidency race, by top party and government Officials, who do not want to leave anything to chance.

The source noted: “The APC and top government Officials, have been having sleepless nights over the likelihood of Saraki (playing the) midwife and influencing the election of his successor, because they fear he may continue to control happenings within the Senate, which may not augur well for the (Muhammadu) Buhari administration.

“This is why the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and other party Chiefs, are not taking the issue of the emergence of the new Principal Officers with levity, and they are ready to do anything to get their Candidates into Office.”

Apart from checking Saraki, it was also gathered that the Senators who voted against Lawan, may face serious consequences for their action, as the anti-graft Agency is poised to go after them.

Should Lawan fail to clinch the position, it was learnt that rebellious Senators who have pending cases before anti-graft Agencies, will have their case files dusted up.

“Senators who vote for Lawan’s opponent, will not find it easy after the NASS inauguration, because their business deals, constituency projects, and other activities, will be subjected to clinical investigations, and we all know what this may mean for some of them”, another Senior Official revealed.

In reaction, the Acting EFCC Spokesman, Tony Orilade, noted that the Commission has no interest in the election of Principal Officers of the National Assembly. He stressed that in line with its mandate, it is only interested in persons who have questions to answer, with regards to the mismanagement of public funds.

He cautioned Politicians against “dragging the EFCC into the National Assembly’s internal affairs”, stressing that, the anti-graft Agency is not a political organisation.

He stated: “Like the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said, our investigation of any citizen is not personal, and we are not after anybody. We invite or arrest people who have committed a crime, people who are corrupt. If you are not corrupt, we cannot arrest or detain you.”

Asked about the reported interrogation of the Mohammed Sani-Omolori-led National Assembly management, including the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Patrick Giwa, Orilade said that he did not have information about it.

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