In what spells good days for the relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of Government, the Federal Government has filed a motion to drop the charge of criminal conspiracy and forgery of senate standing order against Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
This was applied for by a litigation officer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Odubu Loveme, who filed an affidavit in support of the motion before the High Court of Federal Capital Territory.
THE WILL recalls that Saraki, Ekweremadu, as well as a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and a former Deputy clerk, Ben Efeturi, were on June 20th arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu, on charges of forgery of the senate standing order during the senate leadership election held in June last year and all pleaded not guilty on July 27, 2016.
In the motion filed by Loveme in the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, he revealed that the prosecution had studied the case diary and had decided to amend the charge in the manner stated on the face of the motion paper while Maikasuwa and Efeturi would continue to face trial over the case.
“That I depose to this affidavit in good faith believing same to be correct to the best of my knowledge and information and in accordance with the Oaths Act Cap 01 laws of the Federation of Nigeria,” he affirmed.
Count 1 of the charge against the two civil servants, is that of Criminal Conspiracy punishable under section 97 (1) Penal Code Act ( Northern States) Federation Provisions Act, 1960, Cap 345, laws of the Federation 1990 as amended.
It reads: that Salisu Maikasuwa and Benedict Efeturi, on or about the 9th day of June 2015 at the National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court agreed to do an illegal act, to wit to make the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended without the authority of the 7th Senate of the Federal republic of Nigeria which act was committed by yourselves and that you thereby committed the offence of criminal conspiracy.
The two officials are accused of fraudulently amending the 2015 Senate Standing Orders without the authority of the 7th Senate “with intention that the Senators elect of the 8th Senate would believe that the said Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) was made by the authority of the 7th Senate of the Federal republic of Nigeria.”
They are also accused of forging a document punishable under section 366 of the Penal Code Act (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, 1960, Cap 345, Laws of the Federation 1990 (as amended) and giving false information with the intention to mislead the public