- PDP senators vow to produce next senate president if Saraki loses
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
In his determination to win his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets, Senate President Bukola Saraki has flown in experts from the United States and Israel to team up with his legal team led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).
However, it was learnt that the experts are not lawyers but crack investigators, forensic and handwriting specialists with the mandate to provide information on witnesses and documents presented at the tribunal by the prosecution.
The experts who were said to have arrived Lagos on Monday, would leave Lagos for Abuja to join Agabi’s team and commence work soon.
A source in the Senate, who disclosed this yesterday, said the information to be provided by the experts would assist Saraki’s legal team make a credible defence at the Tribunal.
“The investigators will ferret out and scrutinise thoroughly, all available information on the eight prosecution witnesses, including their school records, service records from the past and present, places of employment and personal information that may help the defence team in the course of the trial.
“Most of those so-called witnesses will not be credible when information concerning their life is presented publicly before the tribunal.
“It is also expected that with the fear that the prosecution may present forged documents, our team needs to be vigilant and pro-active considering the manner in which the proceedings before the tribunal is being conducted.
“Our people believe that with the way properties that have nothing to do with Saraki are being put on the charge sheet, there is the suspicion that the documents to sustain their claims may have been forged.
“All these, the experts will screen and help the lawyers with information that may help them,” he explained.
The list of witnesses lined up against Saraki are said to be officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc.
But as Saraki’s trial reopens in the next few days, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, yesterday said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate would not support the emergence of an All Progressives Congress (APC) senator as the next Senate President in the event Saraki loses at the CCT.
He said PDP would seize the opportunity to produce the next Senate President.
The senator, who said this while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, said the PDP would replicate the current United States scenario in Nigeria where the opposition controls congress.
He said: “Well, I wish APC the best of luck if they are making that wild goose chase. But I want you to mark what I am saying. I was the first to address the press in Port Harcourt and I told them that Saraki was going to win the Senate presidency and I gave them my reasons.
“Then, nobody ever thought that Saraki was going to win. People were saying that APC had decided. But it was clear to me that he was going to win and I had to address the press.
“I said Saraki was going to win and that he was going to get my vote. Eventually, we went there, he won. If, but God forbids, because we don’t see it coming, by chance Saraki is removed, I can tell you that PDP will produce the next Senate President.
“We only need three APC senators and we have them. The calculation is very clear to me. The calculation is very clear for PDP. We know what it would take us.
“When I told them that Saraki was going to win, I did a lot of mathematical calculations based on the facts on the ground and it is even clearer to me now that the PDP will win it. We will win it.
“If anybody is thinking that a PDP man is going to vote against a PDP candidate, he is telling you a lie. We have people and we know how to get the people from APC. We will win and that will be very interesting.
“What is happening in America is going to happen in Nigeria. America has a Republican Senate but the executive is led by a Democrat, so it’s happening in different parts of the world. I can tell you with what’s on the ground that we will produce the next Senate President.” ThisDay