Former spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank has condemned President Buhari’s remarks on Senate President Bukola Saraki’s Supreme Court victory.
The Supreme Court on Friday, July 6, 2018, cleared the Senate President of all charges filed against him in the false assets declaration trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The Judges, led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, dismissed the three-count charge filed against Saraki.
In his reaction, the President said Saraki’s legal journey is worthy of emulation, adding that the ruling shows that the judiciary is working.
The President’s reaction was posted on Twitter by his media aide, Garba Shehu.
The statement reads:“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.”
Timi Frank fires
According to Timi Frank, Buhari could have maintained his silence on the matter, rather than make such a statement which he described as hypocritical.
Frank also described Saraki’s long court battle as politically motivated plan to pull down the Senate President.
He said “I find it a joke of the year and facetiously hypocritical for Mr. President to say that Saraki’s 'tortuous journey' to victory at the Supreme Court is akin to his own three-time sojourn through the judicial apparatchik.
“What does Mr. President mean? Is he saying that he tacitly supported the persecution of the President of the Senate simply because he emerged as the Presiding Officer of the Senate on June 9, 2015 against the wish of a cabal in the party with his tacit support.”
Probe Babachir Lawal
The former APC spokesman also challenged Buhari to probe the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal’s grass cutting scandal that led to his dismissal.
“To prove his new faith in the Judiciary, let the executive arraign and ensure that persons like the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal and the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, to prove their innocence over the grass cutting scandal and corruption petitions from the Rivers State Government against them respectively.
“We knew from day one that the charge of alleged false asset declaration against Saraki was a political vendetta plotted to shame and pull Saraki down. We never had doubt that the judiciary would vindicate him. Our only fear was the attacks and intimidation of judicial officers, by agents of this administration to force a miscarriage of justice,” he said.
EFCC should apologise to Saraki
Frank also said the President should have asked the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apologise to the Senate President.
His words: “I think the President should have been courageous enough to ask the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – that hijacked the job of the Code of Conduct Bureau and championed the persecution of Saraki – to apologize to him.
“To equate Saraki’s unjust trial to Buhari’s episodes of legal battle to prove that he was cheated during three presidential elections is to admit guilt. It is like ‘I went through hell and I also wanted you to go through hell to know how it feels.
“I think that this type of mindset is sadistic and un-fatherly if that was the thinking behind the statement issued on Saturday by Garba Shehu – Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
“I think the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), deserve the commendation of all Nigerians for seeing the case for what it was, and for their courage in preventing a calamitous injustice which was about to perpetrated against an innocent man.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC),Prof. Itse Sagay has expressed shock following the Supreme Court ruling clearing Senate President.