Abuja - Leadership of the Senate on Friday said that it shut down activities on Thursday in solidarity with its President, Bukola Saraki, because of circumstances surrounding his ongoing assets declaration trial.
Deputy Leader of the Senate, Ibn Na’Allah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the senate believed that rather than prosecution, Saraki was being persecuted, hence the level of solidarity from the lawmakers.
According to Na’Allah, majority of the senators believe that the trial of the president of the senate by the Code of Conduct Tribunal is in no way a prosecution.
"You see, it is a matter of belief and I am going to tell you in very clear language.
"The belief of the 8th Senate and substantial number of the senators is that the trial of the President of the Senate is persecution rather than prosecution.
"If it is persecution, we believe that we have a responsibility to stand by him.
"But if it is prosecution, every senator of the federal republic believes and rightly so, that this government must be given all the necessary assistance it requires to fight corruption,’’ he said.
He argued that Saraki’s trial for alleged offences he committed 13 years ago was more of a political move than a legal or anti-corruption matter.
Maintaining that the senators felt that Saraki was on political trial, Na’Allah said that all the senators could not be wrong at the same time.
The senate leader, however, said that he was sure that President Muhammadu Buhari meant well for Nigeria, with the intention of shifting from culture of impunity to that of adherence to the rule of law.
Also read: Saraki shuts Senate as trial resumes at CCT
He decried that Nigerians, most times, did not like to hear the truth on issues, and would label somebody as ‘’bad’’ no matter how many times the person testified to his innocence.
"It is in the overall interest of everyone who loves this country to assist this government in doing everything in accordance with the dictates of our Constitution,” he said.
He urged Nigerian to desist from the habit of always treating actions of people in authority with suspicion, adding that citizens must also learn to speak well of the country in every circumstance.
"We must, as citizens of this country, decide whether we will hang ourselves on the landing of unquestionable acts or we imitate our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.
"These are people who have seen good in themselves, in their leaders and in their country, and who have become patriots of their nations rather than patriots of myopic thinking,” he said.
Thursday’s suspension of plenary over Saraki’s assets declaration trial was the third time the senators shunned sitting over the matter.