demand Saraki’s Resignation
By Nuel Suji and Dipo Awojobi – Protesters in their hundreds on Tuesday besieged the National Assembly in protest against the planned suspension of Senator Kabiru Marafa over alleged unguided statements against the Senate and the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Saraki is currently facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged irregularities in his declared assets while he was governor of Kwara state.
The group, Open Society Coalition, demanded for the immediate resignation of the Senate president in order for him to focus on his trial at the CCT.
The group had banners with various inscriptions at the entrance of the National Assembly such as: ‘Suspend Saraki, not Marafa;’ ‘Stop suspending members, leave the Senate and face CCT;’ ‘Democracy survives in inclusiveness, not in suspending people of different opinion;’ ‘National Assembly, centre of Democracy not Fascist centre.’
There has been speculation that the Senate Committee on Ethics may recommend the suspension of Marafa when it presents its report at plenary today.
Senator Marafa has been under fire over an alleged disparaging media comments against the leadership of the Senate.
Addressing newsmen, the Convener of the protest, Mr. Ude Emeka said the moves to suspend Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) negates the tenet of democracy.
“Rather than suspending Marafa, Saraki should resign and concentrate on his trial at the CCT. We want to show the leadership of National Assembly that the Nigerian civil society will stand against any move to suspend any Senator because of his or her divergent view.” he said.
The Senate had last Tuesday mandated the committee to look into the remarks by Marafa supporting former President Olusegun Obasanjo that the National Assembly is corrupt.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) laid the report on the floor. Also, Anyanwu laid the report of the investigation of the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde who is being investigated for alleged diversion of N1 trillion of recovered loots.