The Senate President, Bukola Saraki will have a lot to lose if found guilty by the court.
Responding to questions from newsmen after today’s (September 22) proceedings, the counsel to the federal government, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said that if Saraki is found guilty by the court he can be banned from holding public office for ten years with assets he illegally acquired seized.
He said: “The only thing the tribunal can do if they found the accused guilty is to ban him for holding public office for ten years, and seize the assets that were illegally acquired which is the subject matter before the court. The tribunal cannot imprison and cannot give term sentence.”
Fielding questions on why the tribunal is just waking up now, close to thirteen years after the accused committed the offence.
“That is what the supporters of the defendants (Saraki) are saying. You heard them saying that here. But that is not the true position. We have arraigned governors, even APC governors. We have arraigned about three governors before the long vacation in July. So what is new about this? Can that be the truth? Is he the only one? We have charged civil servants, and governors.
“It is turn by turn as we finish investigation, we charge them. The story in July was that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and some other agencies are charging PDP members, but now is Saraki a member of the PDP? I think it is just our attitude to just explain away our criminal conduct. So we always find a way of explaining it away as if it is not crime.”
In a related development, there are claims that some senators have been offered $50,000 to ensure they impeach Saraki.
A report quoted a ranking senator who said some top chieftains of the party have already hatched the plot to ensure Saraki is ousted soon.