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Saraki slams Obasanjo, EFCC

Posted by By KENNDY ASHAKA on 2007/01/25 | Views: 520 |

Saraki slams Obasanjo, EFCC


Former Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of unconstitutional acts, saying the harassment and intimidation of state governors, including members of the states Houses of Assembly in the country, contradicted the spirit and letter of the 1999 constitution.

• Accuses agency of harassment, intimidation

Former Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of unconstitutional acts, saying the harassment and intimidation of state governors, including members of the states Houses of Assembly in the country, contradicted the spirit and letter of the 1999 constitution.

He said that it was illegal for EFCC officials to arrest members of State Houses of Assembly and take them to states other than their own for detention.

For instance, he said, it was a breach of the 1999 constitution for EFCC operatives to arrest the Secretary to the Zamfara State Government and take him outside his state.
Saraki, who spoke at an interactive session with some northern youths in Kaduna on Wednesday, submitted that by so doing, the agency was usurping the powers of States which had the authority to discipline their own staff and civil servants.

He said: “How can you go to Zamfara State and arrest every top government official there, including the Secretary to the State Government, and take them to another State for detention?
“If they wanted the EFCC to have the powers of detaining of state government officials, then they should have set up EFCC in all the states so that each of the state branch can arrest and detain people there. What is happening today is unconstitutional. It is wrong for EFCC to paralyse the state legislature. States are autonomous. But today EFCC has paralysed them by locking up their speakers. Are we practicing unitary government or federalism?

“In a federation, each of the States should have their own constitution. We are running a unitary system of government and not a federal system.”
Saraki further blamed the political crises in the country on President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying that Obasanjo as a military man cannot run a democracy.
“Military men are trained to kill and shoot. You cannot bend a tree. You can only bend a sapling (young tree). Obasanjo is a military man.

“If you put a military man as president and he is used to giving orders and not being questioned, that is your problem,” he said.
He further said that the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) of which he was a prominent member maintained peace in the country throughout its reign because there was discipline in the party as all members knew that the party was supreme.

According to him, the present positions of “leader” which both the president and the governors claim to hold in their respective parties were unknown to multi-party democracy.
“The party is supreme. After the party has voted in governors, they turn back to say they are leaders of their parties. It is the same with the President.
“Those who voted for them are not members of their parties. There is no supremacy of the party now. Today, who can you talk to in any of the parties?

They (President and Governors) are so detached from the society. In 1979, when I was the Senate leader, we had 95 Senators out of which NPN had 36. In the House of Representatives, we had 450 members and NPN had only 167, which is far away from simple majority. Yet there was no day we abused our President (Shehu Shagari) because there was no need for it.
“We had a caucus which met every Monday by 8pm at the President’s house and the party chairman presided over the meetings (in spite of the fact that the President was a member) because the Party was supreme.

“It was at the caucus meeting that we took all the major decisions affecting the country… As the Senate leader then, I was the owner of the Senate, but today what the Senate leader does is to move motions for adjournment.

“It is the Senate leader that has to move a round and lobby members if an important issue is to come to the floor and before I even put the matter in the order paper; the Senate should have resolved it. What is prevailing now is Ghana Must Go.”


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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.