Saraki: Enough of the show of shame


One would not be completely off the mark saying that Monday’s unprecedented arraignment of Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged forgery of the rules that brought them into office, has somehow thrown a fit of hysteria at the duo and their distinguished colleagues in the Senate.
During the days of the ancient regime, such a development, probably after causing some little altercations and skirmishes amongst the lawmakers on the floor of the House, would have been settled amicably in a closed door session.
But with an administration known for its anti-corruption stance, papering over such a serious issue is an anathema.
This, to the senators, is very strange. And pronto, they have whipped up the time-tested principle of separation of powers to defend their position.
For them, the Executive and any other relevant body should not only turn their faces away from the goings on in their gated world, they should also pretend not to hear, even when the noise is strident enough to burst the healthiest eardrums. In fact, the Executive, which dislikes their ugly faces, is poking its too long a nose into their affairs, trying to sniff out the tiniest streak of dirt to get at them.
The Executive, to them, should continue to carry on as if all is well in the face of glaring anomalous happenings in the Senate. They had expected the rest of us to even praise them for such an unpopular feat, pat them on the back and tell them to carry on.
Unfortunately, the lawmakers and their colleagues, unabashedly, don’t seem to realise the weight of the moral burden they hang on their own necks each time such strange things occur in their hallowed chambers.
For me, the hysterical outbursts by Saraki, Ekweremadu and some of their colleagues over the arraignment of their leaders before a competent court, bear the infamous hallmarks of hypocrisy and pretence our political class has acquired notoriety for over the years.
Rather than calling a spade its name, our politicians have developed that deftness, not only to rename it but also to convince hapless Nigerians that it’s something far different.
With the benefit of hindsight, our lawmakers’ solidarity with their erring leadership, even over issues which bear on corruption, has become legendary. We were all witnesses to the shameless show of solidarity displayed by these same senators on occasions when Saraki has appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal. In their hundreds, they all shamelessly stormed the court. qout
In saner climes, with these series of charges being pressed against him, here and there, the senate president would have stepped down from his exalted office to face trial while his colleagues have their heads remain buried in the mud of shame. But this is Nigeria where anything goes and people’s eye brows have long lost the ability to even blink, not to talk of being raised against such evils as corruption and forgery.
The lawmakers should know that shouting themselves hoarse on the rooftop of their hallowed chambers about the alleged involvement of the Presidency in their ordeal is not enough to absolve them of the charges being preferred against them in court.
The earlier the senators realise that, commenting on a matter that is already in court runs contrary to the dictates of the law, the better for them in proving their innocence at the end of the day. Witch-hunt, vendetta, politics and what not! So, the current face-off between the Senate and the Presidency may seem now, but the legislators and their leaders would do themselves a world of good if they quickly settle down to the real issues involved in the different court cases involving Saraki and Ekweremadu. They should know that Nigerians are no longer interested in any face-off between them and the Presidency; we have all come to realise that, where two elephants fight, the grass suffers.
The senators should come to terms with the fact that arraigning their leaders before a competent court is a matter of upholding the rule of law, a responsibility which the Executive is traditionally saddled with.
It should no longer be business as usual, at least that is what the Presidency has been clear about; we should no longer have one set of laws for a privileged few and another set for the rest of us. The law should be equally applied in all cases involving every individual, no matter their status or stations in life.
So, one would enjoin the lawmakers to, under this new dispensation, learn to hunt with the deer and run with the hare, if they still want to keep their heads high as our distinguished lawmakers holding sway in the hallowed chamber of our Senate.
Saraki and Ekweremadu should be allowed to carry their own cross before the courts. They will surely have their day if eventually found to be innocent of the charges.