CHECKPOINTCHARLEY can authoritatively reveal that the acquittal of Senate President, Bukola Saraki of 18-count charges of false asset declaration was a product of a mindless power deal recently struck between the Cabal at the Presidency led by Abba Kyari, the controversial Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and Saraki, aimed at keeping power in the North and block Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo from ever becoming substantive president.
Impeccable sources at the Presidency told CHECKPOINTCHARLEY that the deal to untie the embattled Senate President is part of a grand plot by the cabal to keep power in the North and frustrate Prof. Osinbajo from becoming president – since it has become clear to them that even if Buhari survived his undisclosed ailment, he would never again have the capacity to run the country.
According to the plot, Saraki was freed on the understanding that he would block whatever moves in the legislature to declare the sick Buhari incapable of discharging the duties of his office, so as to enable the cabal to continue to rule till the end of his tenure by proxy, notwithstanding the fact that Osinbajo is acting president.
Recall that Osinbajo was even unable to sign the 2017 budget until the cabal gave him the green-light, claiming that it was from Buhari.
“It is also part of the deal that at the end of Buhari’s tenure, since Saraki has presidential ambition, he would be backed to succeed him in order to keep power in the North,” our sources said.
They added: “The Cabal moved for this deal after they got very jittery of losing power. They swallowed a rumour that Osinbajo would soon dissolve the Federal Executive Council, FEC, and appoint ministers, who would be loyal to him and then move a motion that Buhari does not have the mental and physical capacity to govern the country.
“The deal with Saraki includes that he, as Senate President, would do all to stop Osinbajo from emerging as president, should he pursue this course of action to replace his principal on health grounds.
“On the National Assembly front, Saraki will also, under the agreement, supress any revolt or move by members to declare Buhari unfit as a result of an indefinite absence from duty on health grounds.”
With no date set for the President’s return, the Cabal is conscious of the fact that there would soon be some opposition coming from the legislature – with respect to Buahri’s long absence from duty, the sources added.
Both our sources at the Presidency and National Assembly confided in CHECKPOINTCHARLEY that Mr. Kyari and Mr. Saraki had met at least twice last week, as they put finishing touches to the pact that paved the way for his acquittal from a Code of Conduct Tribunal that had been hostile to the Senate President since his arraignment – so much that Saraki once applied for the case to be taken away from CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, on grounds of bias and lack of gaurantee of a fair trial. It is also on record that Saraki made several attempts to prevent the trial without success.
It therefore came as a shock to watchers that the same the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday in Abuja dismissed the 18-count charge of false asset declaration filed against Saraki, claiming, all of a sudden, that the strong evidence of the prosecution, anchored on four credible witnesses, could not ground a conviction.
Surprisingly, the two-man panel of the CCT led by Mr. Umar unanimously upheld Saraki’s no-case submission, saying that the evidence led by the prosecution was rubbished under cross-examination.
The tribunal was of the view that no reasonable tribunal would convict a defendant on the evidence led by the prosecution, who had relied on four witnesses.
Mr. Saraki was slammed with a 13-count charge in September 2015 by the Buhari government, shortly after he emerged as Senate President.
Saraki’s acquittal adds another ugly chapter to the narrative of a country, where the rich and mighty are untouchable.