The CCT recently fixed March 10th for the resumption of the trail of the Senate President.A source privy to the details of the agreement, claimed Justice Danladi agreed to Tinubu’s demands on speedy trial of the Senate President and invocation of all sub-sections under Section 23 of the Conduct Bureau and the Tribunal Act to convict the Senate President.The agreement was allegedly initiated through the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the instance of his Chief of Staff, Mr Adeola Ipaye.Ipaye, a former Lagos state Attorney General and Justice commissioner, is a loyal aide of Asiwaju Tinubu. Tinubu appointed him as Special Assistant on Legal Affairs in 2011. He was later promoted in 2003 as Senior Special Assistant on
Legal Matters to former Governor Tinubu.
It was reliably gathered that Tinubu and CCT Chairman, Umar Danladi have a long standing relationship. The close relationship between the duo made their deal on Saraki smooth, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed. When Tinubu was dragged before the Justice Danladi Umar-led Tribunal by Code of Conduct Bureau for false assets declaration in 2011, Danladi was poised to hand him soft-landing before he got express order from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to free Tinubu. Tinubu was later discharged and acquitted.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, empowered by the Code of
Conduct Bureau and the Tribunal Act can legally prescribe any of the punishments contained in Section 23 of the Act on an
Section 23 of the Act provides; “(1) Where the tribunal finds a
public officer guilty of contravening any of the provisions of this
act, it shall impose upon that officer any of the punishments
specified under subsection (2) of this section.”
Section 23(2), however, states: “The punishment which the
tribunal shall impose shall include any of the following: (a)
vacation of office or any elective or nominated office as the case
may be; (b) disqualification from holding any public office
(whether elective or not) for a period not exceeding 10 years; (c)
seizure and forfeiture to the state of any property acquired in
abuse or corruption of office.”A source close to Mr Tinubu, who confided in our correspondent, said the former governor of Lagos State has given the Vice President the mandate to remove the Senate President, Bukola Saraki from office at all costs.
The source quoted Tinubu to have said, “It is a done deal. I have told Yemi what to do. I don’t need any contract from him. He should get that boy out of office”.
Tinubu is widely believed to have single-handedly nominated Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as Vice Presidential Candidate to the then Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. The present Vice President serves as commissioner for two terms when Asiwaju Tinubu governed Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.
On the trial of the Senate President, the camp of former governor Bola Tinubu is reportedly strategising and has foreclosed any room for chances.
He secretly offered the 8 witnesses, billed to testify against the Senate President, $35,000 each with promise of security protection. Tinubu also promised the witnesses other supports that a close source declined to comment about.
The witnesses are: Yahaya Bello, Michael Wetkas, Mustapha Abubakar Musa and Nura Ali Bako. Others are: Adamu Garba, Samuel Madojemu, Abdulrahaman Bayo Dauda and Nwachukwu Amazu.
However, the trial of the Senate President has assumed a new political dimension.
A Villa source confided in our reporter, that close aides of President Muhammadu Buhari have reportedly told the President that the trial of the Senate President, initiated from the office of Vice President, is actually designed to get at the President in the long run.
Presidential aides discovered that some politicians in the South West region are scheming to nominate Senator Ahmed Lawan as possible Vice Presidential Candidate to run with the present Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as presidential candidate of the APC. According to the political calculation, even if President Buhari decides to seek re-election in 2019, the APC caucus in the South West will present the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to contest against him in the primaries.
The renewed plot to kick Saraki out of office, according to the source, is to make Senator Ahmed Lawan the Senate President and position him to run with Prof Yemi Osinbajo on the same presidential ticket. Tinubu has reportedly anointed the Vice President to take over the mantle of leadership from the President, Muhammadu Buhari, by 2019.
It is yet to be known how President Muhammadu Buhari will react to the new political scheme.