Saraki’s Trial Can’t Negatively Affect Ministerial Screening –Iheonu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Saraki’s Trial Can’t Negatively Affect Ministerial Screening –Iheonu

Posted: Oct 4, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Lagos lawyer and Member, International Bar Association (IBA), Barrister Nnaemeka Iheonu, speaks on the ministerial list which the President is expected to send to the Senate, and maintains that the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Busola Saraki, wiill not affect its consideration by the senators. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU



How do you see the ongoing trial of Senate President, Busola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) at this moment?

The trial is normal. I do not see it as a witch-hunt. This thing happened when he was the governor of Kwara State. In Law, there is no time limit for criminal trial. One can be called upon at any time to answer charges for offences. So, the CCB is right to take Saraki to CCT. Although the trial may have political undertone, it is legally valid.

Don’t you think the trial may affect the consideration of the ministerial nominees by senators?

On the resumption of the senate, the senators passed a vote of confidence on Saraki. So, nothing has changed. He is still the Senate President and he will follow the normal procedure of handling issues. So, I don’t see his trial affecting the screening and clearing of ministers. Instead, it will make the senators to be more thorough in the screening. It will no longer be “Take a bow and leave”.

What do you think should be the solution to this cold war between the Executive and the Legislature?

The Code of Conduct Bureau should go into its records and investigate every public officer, past and present, and try other culprits. If not, it will look as if Saraki alone is their target. They should also go after those who are yet to declare their assets and bring them before the CCT for trial.

There is supposed to be a synergy between the Executive and Legislature. The President and the Presiding Chief Lawmakers should have regular interface for understanding.

Buhari should learn to mix up and should not alienate himself from others if he is to succeed. No man is an island. That does not mean that he should condone corruption. Apart from  the APC leaders, Buhari should also reach out to other party leaders. He can also run a government of national unity by appointing people from other parties into positions.

I believe that when the president presents his ministerial nominees, they will sail through at the senate because he must have appointed people who have integrity. He must have investigated them thoroughly. But, the Senate must also do a thorough job before clearing them.