Friday, July 6, 2018 9:51 pm
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has reiterated his confidence in the judiciary and its ability to do justice to all manner of men and in all circumstances.
Saraki said this in a statement he personally signed in Abuja on Friday after Supreme Court’s judgment in the asset declaration charges, which went in his favour.
The court upheld the earlier decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which discharged and acquitted Saraki in all 18-count-charge against him.
Saraki expressed gratitude to all Nigerians who supported him since the case commenced three years ago.
“At the end of a tortuous journey of 1,018 days, counting from Sept. 22, 2015, when the case began at the Tribunal, I am happy that I have been vindicated.
“The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is no evidence of false declaration of assets.
“The court also observed that certain agents took over the responsibility of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in this trial, and one can infer that this was done towards a pre-determined end.
“This outcome has gladdened my heart and further strengthened my belief in this country and as well as my faith in the Almighty Allah, who is the righter of all wrongs.
“God has vindicated me today before the judgment of man, and I am most thankful and humbled at His grace and infinite mercies.
“Through it all, I refused to be shaken, knowing, as Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said, that the arch of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice.
“I knew the day would come when justice would prevail and I would be exonerated,’’ he said.
The president of the senate said that he had always believed in the infallibility of the judiciary, and was “secure in the knowledge that our courts, the last refuge of the oppressed, would never condemn the innocent.
“This outcome is also a vindication of my belief in the rule of law.
“As I said in my first appearance at the CCT, this is a politically-motivated case.
“The case was trumped up in the first instance because of my emergence as the President of the Senate, against the wishes of certain forces.
“Ordinarily, I doubt anyone would be interested in the asset declaration form I filled over 15 years ago. What we have seen is the opposite.
“Instead of working together in the interest of the nation and to seek to do better for our people, we are fighting one another and using legal instruments to mount baseless accusations against one another.
“Instead of exhibiting the need for unity and working day and night for that purpose, we are stoking the fire of division and rancour.’’
He also said that the CCT trial had been a flagrant abuse of his person and showed that some people were after their personal interests rather than the national interest.
“As a result of the war of attrition, various arms of government have wasted resources needlessly. It has been three wasted years across board in this country.
“Three years that would have been devoted to tackling issues affecting Nigerians, including economic recovery, insecurity, youth unemployment and strengthening national institutions, were wasted on malicious prosecution.
“As many have rightly observed, it is plain to see that the anti-corruption fight is being prosecuted with vindictiveness, to target perceived political opponents.
“I believe in the need to fight corruption, but I will never be party to the selective application of the law or the rhetoric of an insincere anti-corruption fight.
“I believe in fighting corruption and I have made my own humble contributions to the fight against corruption in this country,’’ Saraki said.
He appreciated Nigerians for standing by him through the difficult period.
“I am most grateful for the support of my distinguished colleagues and the honourable members of the 8th National Assembly for their unflinching support and regular attendance at the various proceedings.
“They were unfairly criticised for accompanying me on court appearances, but it is now clear that they did so because they believed that injustice to one, is injustice to all.
“They have been the true embodiment of esprit de corps. I thank them for banding together in the face of an unconscionable attack on the institution of the legislature,’’ he said.
The president of the senate also thanked his legal team for their determined and principled stance, and for their knowledge and diligence, which saw the case to its just conclusion. (NAN)