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Fed Govt. Looking for more Evidence to Nail Saraki, Ekweremadu

It is believed that the Federal Government, has started searching for more facts that can further prove the involvement of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, in the alleged forgery of Senate Standing Rules, 2015.

Sources according to,  Saturday PUNCH learnt on Friday that the Police Special Investigation Panel had written the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to demand for the records of the proceedings where the Senate rules were amended.

This Follows the realization, that the evidence against the men were not enough to secure their conviction in court, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had directed the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to dig further and get more evidence against Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu.

Apart from Saraki and Ekweremadu, others facing trial over their alleged involvement in the forgery of the senate rules, include the former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi.

The trial judge on June 27, 2016, admitted the defendants to bail and adjourned the matter for trial. Saraki and Ekweremadu and others pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

A reliable source stated, that on Friday that IGP had directed the SIP handling the investigation to get more evidence that could sustain the conviction of the accused persons for forgery.

It was learnt that the panel, led by Ali Amodu, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, wrote a letter to the National Assembly Clerk in August, 2016 and demanded the record of proceedings of the last Senate.

The police also requested the clerk to clarify if the 7th Senate at any time amended the Senate Standing Orders 2011 and the extent of the amendment, if any.

Sources stated that the panel also requested for copies of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, as well as the Hansard (official record of debates) of June 9 and 24, 2015 to know what transpired on the floor of the Senate.

It was learnt that the panel, had in its letter, asked that the information should be dispatched before September 7.

A source, who was familiar with the investigation, said that the clerk had yet to respond to the request, prompting the SIP to send a reminder about two weeks ago.

The source said, “The SIP was expecting the clerk to send the copies of the senate standing rules, 2011 and 2015 to know if there was an amendment and the extent of such amendment. The police also demanded the record of the last proceeding of the 7th senate, but up till now, the clerk has not responded.

“The SIP has again sent a reminder to the clerk to fast-track its request. All these records are needed by the police to carry out a thorough probe into the case and ensure that the probe is rested once and for all.”

Efforts made to get the Clerk to the National Assembly proved abortive as calls to his telephone did not go through. He also did not reply a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report on Friday evening. According to the source.

It was learnt that the police failed to carry out a thorough investigation into the forgery case because the leadership of the Force was in a hurry to conclude the probe to please the Presidency. The inconclusive investigation was carried out by detectives from the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

 

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