#Interview Senate Forgery: There is problem within the Nigerian Senate- Senator Marafa
Trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, immediate past Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa and former Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Ben Efeturi over alleged forgery of the senate standing rule 2015 has kicked off.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation, had last week in charge No CR/219/16, slammed a two-count charge of “criminal conspiracy, contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code Law” and “Forgery contrary to 364 of the Penal Code Law” against Saraki and the four others for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Orders used for the inauguration of the 8th Senate on June 9, last year and later adopted as Senate Standing Orders 2015.
The decision to drag the accused to court was based on the report of the investigation carried out on a petition forwarded to police to that effect by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North) on behalf of other senators of the Senate Unity Forum, SUF.
The charge sheet dated 10th June 2016 was signed by D.E Kaswe Esq., Principal State Counsel on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and backed by an Affidavit of Completion of Investigation deposed to at the Federal High Court Registry, Abuja on the same date by Okara Neji Jonah, a Litigation Officer at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja. Okara maintained that “the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, FCIID, has concluded the investigation of the case and has forwarded the file to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation for prosecution.”
Listed as witnesses in the suit, which has been assigned to Hon. Justice Yusuf Haliru are, Senators Hunkuyi, Ahmed Lawan, Abdullahi Gumel, Kabiru Marafa, Robert Boroffice, Gbenga Ashafa and Abu Ibrahim, all members of SUF, the group of Senators that pushed unsuccessfully for the election of Senator Lawan as the Senate President. Other witnesses include former Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, currently Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang; Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG, in charge of FCIID, Dan’Azumi Doma, and Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.
The two count charge read: “That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about, the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.
“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, with fraudulent intent, forged the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when you knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order. “You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law.”