By Dapo Akinrefon, Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, reacted to the victory of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at the Supreme Court on the allegations of non-declaration of some of his assets.
The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said that the country’s judicial system, no matter the challenges it was facing, was truly working and no one should be allowed to undermine or break it. President Buhari in the statement said,
“I have seen many instances where individuals and groups seek the destruction of the judicial institution in the foolish thinking of saving their skin, instead of going through the painstaking process of establishing their innocence.
“In the case of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, I have seen him take the tortuous path of using the judicial process. He persevered, and in the end, the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, says he is not guilty as charged.
“This is what I have done in the three elections in which I was cheated out, before God made it possible for me to come here the fourth time I ran for the office.”
The President said the Senate President’s journey from the lowest to the highest court of the land provided an important example that all Nigerians should emulate.
But Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN, says he is surprised by the Supreme Court verdict that cleared Senate President. Bukola Saraki of assets, declaration charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
Sagay, who spoke when Sunday Vanguard sought his reaction to the verdict, yesterday, said: “The answer is not what I can comment on meaningfully and rationally because I have not read it. It is a technical thing, one has to see the evidence and the law the court applied before one can pass any judgement. So, I am waiting to get a summary of the judgement at least to have an idea.
The only thing is that I am a little bit surprised at the decision, but that is nothing when you haven’t seen the evidence, the legal arguments the court used to arrive at its decision. So, I can’t say anything right now.”
When asked whether he suspected a foul play in the verdict, he chuckled, saying: “Even if I suspect it, I will never say it on phone but I don’t know. I am just surprised but at times, only those who have details can come to an accurate decision . I don’t want to jump into any conclusion because I have not read it.”