I Won’t Resign Over CCT Trial, Panama Papers – Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki has vowed that he would not yield to calls for his resignation as Senate President amid various corruption allegations saying those calling for his resignation were being sponsored by politicians who had always opposed his leadership since he emerged Senate President.
In a message on Friday, by his Special Adviser on Media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said he was not contemplating resignation adding that his detractors were trying to circumvent the country’s judicial system.
“There’s a case in the Tribunal and a resultant appeal at the Court of Appeal,” the statement said.
“The underlining philosophy of our legal system is that an accused person is presumed innocent until found guilty.
“Those who are contemplating calls for resignation want to circumvent the judicial system. They are obviously being sponsored by some politicians.
“The Senate President is not contemplating any resignation. He will surely have his day in court.”
Saraki has been arraigned by the Code of Conduct Tribunal for non-disclosure of assets when he served as Governor of Kwara state and has been allegedly linked to some secret offshore assets in tax havens by Panama Papers.
This made the Transition Monitoring, a coalition of over 400 civic organisations working for the entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Nigeria, lend its voice to the calls for the Senate president to step down from office.
The group said the revelations by the Panama Papers and the CCT prosecution team are too lurid for Nigerians to ignore, adding that details contained in the evidence tendered by the prosecution against Saraki were startling and he had lost all moral grounds to continue to occupy such office in the land.
It said the only option for the politician is to follow in the footsteps of Icelandic Prime Minister who stepped aside on Wednesday after the Panama Papers revealed his offshore business interests.
Saraki had responded to the allegations saying that the controversial assets belonged to the estate of his wife’s rich and famous family, and that the law did not mandate him to declare such a category of assets.