The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank has spurned the party’s leadership for allegedly leaving the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to battle with his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal alone.
In a statement issued Friday, Frank described the continued trial of the Senate President at the CCT as worrisome in view of the manifest flaws and in the processes leading to the arraignment of Saraki.
Estranged Frank who has been quite critical of the conduct of party affairs in recent times, said it was dangerous that the leadership of the APC has decided to sit on the fence and watch Saraki swim or sink in this trial.
He said: “I sincerely hold that the current trial of Saraki is not only underserved, but amounts to paying a good man with evil. I also want to say that the leaders of our great party have unfortunately remained quiet in the face of evil.
“I don’t believe we have forgotten that the victory of the APC during the last general elections could not have been possible without courageous strategists like Saraki who lent his political weight in favour of the APC at the risk of their own lives and personal survival.
“I don’t think we have forgotten how Saraki as a Senator in the 7th Senate brought the attention of Nigerians to the fraud perpetrated by the last administration in the name of fuel subsidy.
“I don’t think we have forgotten so soon how Saraki led five other governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the APC – a development that successfully turned the political tide against the PDP and eventually tipped the electoral scale against them during the 2015 general elections.
“I don’t think we have forgotten how Saraki led scores of Senators to cross over to the APC on the floor of the Senate.
“I don’t think we have also forgotten what he gave of his time, personal resources and energy to ensure that the APC emerged victorious both at the national, state and local government level.
“The question is: Why is the case of Saraki being treated differently at the CCT that in 2011 struck out the case against one of our national leaders because he was not given the opportunity to deny or admit the alleged discrepancies in his asset declaration forms in line with Section 3(d) of the CCB/CCT Act.
This is unlike 11 other ex-governors who had similar cases of irregularities whose cases were dropped by the CCB after they were invited by the agency.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 3(d) of the CCB/CCT Act which has been so undermined by the CCT in its Thursday ruling states that the CCB shall: “Receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of this Act and where the Bureau (not the AGF or EFCC) considers it necessary to do so, refer such complaints to the Code of Conduct Tribunal established by Section 20 of this Act in accordance with the provisions of Sections 20 to 25 of this Act: provided that where the concerned makes a written admission of such breach or non-compliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary.”
He added: “It is based on the above precedent that I want to ask why Saraki’s case is different? Why is the judiciary suddenly giving in to apparent blackmail from a section of the media by refusing to do their job as required by law?
“Already the Senate President has told the world that the trial has nothing to do with corruption but that he is being persecuted for emerging as the Senate President. To me, the ominous silence of our leaders since the day he was arraigned uphill now serves to validate the claims of the Senate President that he is being persecuted.
“Or where else in the world will the number three citizen of a country be brought before a tribunal over alleged irregularities in his asset declaration forms 13 years ago, and the hierarchy of the ruling party, to which he is a bonafide member, will not come out to show solidarity or defend him?”
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