Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy, have commended the federal government for its courage in ending their criminal trial at the federal capital territory (FCT) high court.
However, they have appealed for the other “politically-motivated cases” to be terminated as well.
The presiding officers described the verdict of the high court dismissing the charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Orders 2015, and their subsequent discharge as a welcome development and a vindication of their position that they were innocent of the allegations levelled against them.
In a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, special adviser to the senate president on media and publicity, they said the decision of the court was consistent with their position that the case lacked any merit and that the charge of forgery of the senate rule filed against them could never be substantiated by any fact.
The two men described the case as a politically-induced distraction, which came at a time when all hands must be on deck to solve the problem of economic recession biting the people, destroying homes and creating severe social disorientation in communities.
However, they acknowledged that the federal government finally displayed courage and strength of character in halting the unnecessary waste of precious time of both parties by agreeing with the defence team that the case lacks merit and therefore should be discontinued.
“We express appreciation to all our colleagues in the senate for their solid support and understanding while the case lasted. We also thank other parliamentarians in and out of the country and the international community as a whole for the consistent solidarity they displayed to us and their belief in our genuine cause since the commencement of the case,” they said.
“Our gratitude goes to our legal team, family members, friends, supporters, civil society organisations, members of the bar, the media and the generality of the people, many of who came out to add their voice to the fact that what the nation needs at this period of economic crisis is not a distraction or any show of division but a clear signal that all arms of government are ready to cooperate with one another to find solutions to the nation’s economic recession.
“We believe much time has been wasted in pursuing this needless case and we hope that the same treatment will be extended to other politically-motivated cases. It is also hoped that from now on, the various arms of government will be allowed to devote all the available time and resources to working on the problems confronting the country and finding solutions that will lead to higher standards of living for the majority of the people of Nigeria.
“At this point, what the country needs is a strong economy where a very large percentage of those who are willing to work can be productively engaged; where there is solid infrastructure, where the atmosphere brings the best out of the people and where all are able to realize their full potential. We pledge to work for Nigeria to achieve all these.”