Senate President Bukola Saraki has alleged that there is a government within President Muhammadu Buhari’s government using their executive powers to persecute the leadership of the Senate.
Saraki made the allegation in a statement on Monday after he, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and two others were arraigned for an alleged forgery.
Saraki said leadership of the Senate was innocent of the charges and the executive arm of government was only acting to satisfy a hidden agenda.
“What has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari that has seized the apparatus of executive powers to pursue a nefarious agenda,” he said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.
Saraki also described the charges levelled against the Senate leadership as a violation of principles of separation of power.
He said, “In our view, the charges filed by the Attorney General represent a violation of the principle of the separation of powers between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch as enshrined in our Constitution.
“Furthermore, it is farcical to allege that a criminal act occurred during Senate procedural actions and the mere suggestion demonstrates a desperate overreach by the office of the Attorney General. These trumped up charges is only another phase in the relentless persecution of the leadership of the Senate.
“This misguided action by the Attorney General begs the question, how does this promote the public interest and benefit the nation?
“At a time when the whole of government should be working together to meet Nigeria’s many challenges, we are once again distracted by the Executive Branch’s inability to move beyond a leadership election among Senate peers. It was not an election of Senate peers and Executive Branch participants.
“Over the past year the Senate has worked to foster good relations with the Executive Branch. It is in all of our collective interests to put aside divisions and get on with the nation’s business.
“We risk alienating and losing the support of the very people who have entrusted their national leaders to seek new and creative ways to promote a secure and prosperous Nigeria. As leaders and patriots, it is time to rise above partisanship and to move forward together.”
According to the Senate President, the latest onslaught on the legislature represents a clear and present danger to the democracy Nigerians fought hard to win and preserve.
“The suit filed on behalf of the Federal government suggests that perhaps some forces in the Federal Republic have not fully embraced the fact that the Senate’s rules and procedures govern how the legislative body adjudicates and resolves its own disputes,” he added.
He vowed that he would “continue to rise above all the persecution and distraction that have been visited on me”.