Senate Forgery: Fresh Report Indicts Saraki, Ekweremadu
Senate Forgery: Strong indications are emerging that the Nigerian Police have presented to the National Prosecution Coordination Committee, another report on the investigations into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015.
In the report, the police indicted the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, Sunday Punch reports.
It was learnt that the Special Investigation Panel (SIP), chaired by the retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, stated that Salisu Maikasuwa, a former Clerk to the National Assembly, could not have committed the alleged offence without the connivance of the two principal officers.
It would be recalled, on October 6, this year, the federal government withdrew the charges of criminal conspiracy relating to the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, filed against the Senate President and his deputy at an Abuja High Court.
The Nigerian government had withdrawn the case against the two principals following the conclusion of the investigation which proved to be inconclusive and without strong evidence.
Saraki and Ekweremadu were earlier charged alongside Maikasuwa and Efeturi for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Orders, which were used for the inauguration of the Eight Senate.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges before Justice Yusuf Halilu and were granted bail on June 10, 2016.
Following the amendment of the charges, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), directed the police to conduct fresh investigations into the case.
However, a top police operative revealed on Saturday, that the SIP had addressed the loopholes the AGF identified in the former report.
He said, “The police have concluded investigations into the case and submitted the report to the NPCC. This was done about a month ago.”
Another top source at the Force Headquarters said:
“Conspiracy is a very wide offence and Maikasuwa couldn’t have done what he did without the connivance of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
“There is no doubt about it; they were the beneficiaries and they have to be joined in the case.”
He continued: “There were certain documents and evidence they asked us to fine-tune, which we did. We got all the necessary documents, including the Hansard, where publications were made and notices were given. We looked at the Hansard. Was there any amendment during the 7th Senate? There were no amendments; nothing was adopted during the 7th Senate. We got the papers and there was nothing like that.
“So, where did Ekweremadu and Maikasuwa derive their authority from when no amendment was done on the floor of the Senate?”
A highly-placed source – with knowledge of the probe – said it was now up to the AGF and the NPCC to decide whether to re-arraign Saraki, Ekweremadu and others or not.
The source disclosed that the detectives were able to verify the extent of amendment to the Senate Standing Orders 2011, the individuals who authorised it, and the official who ordered the printing of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015.
The source added, “The SIP, through painstaking efforts, was able to identify who distributed the printed copies of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, to senators-elect and it also obtained the complete Hansard of June 9 and 24, 2015, which indicated what transpired on the floor of the Senate as well as other relevant evidence. These were issues the former probe did not resolve.
“It is now up to the government to decide whether Saraki and Ekweremadu should be re-arraigned or only Maikasuwa and Efeturi would carry the can.”