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SARAKIGATE: The Plot Thickens

SARAKIGATE: The Plot Thickens

President, Sen. (Dr.) Bukola Saraki

If the current drama revolving around the Senate President, Sen. (Dr.) Bukola Saraki, the Federal Government and the allegation that Saraki had falsely declared his asset while he was the governor of Kwara State, was to be put in motion picture, it would be a major blockbuster, an instant success at the box office.

Consider the scenario: only a short while ago, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde had been summoned to appear before the Senate to answer allegations of corrupt activities preferred against him by one Mr. George Uboh (who no one seemed to have heard about prior to that time). Uboh had written to the Senate, urging the red chamber to investigate some clandestine transactions purportedly embarked upon by the EFCC under the watch of Lamorde, which saw monies to the tune of N1 trillion being ‘pocketed’ by Lamorde, according to the petitioner.

As this drama was playing out, political watchers were quietly taking notes and putting together the numbers to arrive at a disturbing answer. The said Mr. Uboh that blew the whistle on the EFCC’s operations, who was he really? What personal stake did he have in the matter to have written to the Senate? Some analysts quickly concluded that it was a case of ‘the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob’.

Remember that before ever Lamorde was faced with corruption allegation, the EFCC had investigated the wife of the senate president, Toyin Saraki for corrupt enrichment. The charge was later dropped, but the ego of Saraki had been bruised. Perhaps, opined one school of thought, Saraki hatched a plan to get back at the Commission for attempting to discredit his person. So from out of the blues, a hitherto unknown man (Uboh) shows up and accuses the EFCC of corruption.

When asked, Saraki said he had nothing to do with the crisis rocking the EFCC. Today, Saraki himself is the one facing trial. How interesting!

Now bring Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu into the picture. Political observers began to quickly draw a connection linking Asiwaju, the man they call ‘the Lion of bourdillon’, to the crisis now rocking the Senate President.

Whether Dr. Bukola Saraki truly falsely declared his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) is hardly the issue. After all, many politicians declare false assets routinely. Bear in mind; the said crime was committed when Saraki was the Governor of Kwara State, years ago. Didn’t the CCB know the documents he submitted at the time had false assets declaration? Why crying ‘fowl’ now?

In politics, there’s always an issue behind the issue. The issue in this case, according to pundits, is that the Lion of Bourdillon has a score to settle. The Lion of Bourdillon is out for ‘blood’.

At the start of this present democratic dispensation and the constitution of the 8th National Assembly, it was an open fact that Tinubu wanted the right to nominate the Senate President. He preferred someone else to become president of the Senate and moved his camp within the house to produce his anointed candidate. But Sen. Bukola Saraki coveted the hallowed position as well, and he pulled a fast one, beating the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress at his game. Feeling scorned, Tinubu retreated into his shell after that open affront from Saraki. He kept his cool, watching and waiting for an opportune time to get back his pound of flesh. Lions are like that; they wait, calculate, stalk their prey, and then they pounce.

Concerning the trouble Saraki is presently facing, the former Governor of Lagos State only had this to say: “The Federal Government cannot overlook the depth of rot in Nigeria, including the alleged false asset declaration charged currently being faced by the Senate President at Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).”

On his part, Saraki had this to say, “I strongly believe that I am here (before the CCT) because I am the Senate president.”

After initially refusing to attend the hearing at the tribunal, the Senate President eventually bowed to pressure and submitted himself before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea. The case has been adjourned and Nigerians wait to see the outcome at the end of the day.

Behind the scene, you can be sure that dire scheming would be going on. Who will have the last laugh: Sen. Saraki, the Federal Government or the Lion of Bourdillon?

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