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We have gathered that there are strong indications that the
police have submitted to the National Prosecution Coordination
Committee, another report on the investigations into the alleged forgery
of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015. The police indicted the President of the Senate, Dr.
Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu.

The punch reported  that the Special
Investigation Panel, headed the retired Assistant Inspector-General
of Police, Ali Amodu, explained that a former Clerk to the National
Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, could not have committed the alleged offence
without the connivance of the two principal officers.
The SIP was set up the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to investigate high-profile cases.
The Federal Government had, on October
6, 2016, withdrawn the charges of criminal conspiracy relating to the
alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, filed against the
Senate President and his deputy at an Abuja High Court.
The government, it was reported, had
found out that the investigation was inconclusive and the evidence was
not strong enough to sustain a diligent prosecution of the accused
Following this discovery, the Ministry of Justice filed an application to amend the charges.
In the new charges, only Maikasuwa and a former deputy clerk, Mr. Ben Efeturi, were listed as the accused persons.
Saraki and Ekweremadu were earlier
charged alongside Maikasuwa and Efeturi for allegedly forging the Senate
Standing Orders, which were used for the inauguration of the Eight
All of them pleaded not guilty to the charges before Justice Yusuf Halilu and were granted bail on June 10, 2016.
Following the amendment of the charges,
the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar
Malami (SAN), directed the police to conduct fresh investigations into
the case.
Saraki, Ekweremadu may face conspiracy charge again.
A top police operative, who confided in SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, said the SIP had addressed the loopholes the AGF identified in the former report.
He said, “The police have concluded
investigations into the case and submitted the report to the NPCC. This
was done about a month ago
Giving an insight into the report, a top
source at the Force Headquarters said, “Conspiracy is a very wide
offence and Maikasuwa couldn’t have done what he did without the
connivance of Saraki and Ekweremadu.
There is no doubt about it; they were the beneficiaries and they have to be joined in the case.”

When asked if the panel made any
recommendation for the prosecution of the beneficiaries of the forgery,
he stated, “There is no need to make any recommendation to prosecute
them because the investigation did not exonerate them.”
On the non-interrogation of Saraki and
others the former investigators, the source stated, “It is not
totally out of point. It is for Saraki, Ekweremadu and others to defend
themselves in court. The fact that they were not questioned did not mean
they didn’t commit the offence as alleged. The circumstances were that
the investigators could not reach them just like the way the House of
Representatives leadership was dodging police summons on the budget
padding probe.”
He added that the evidence and corrections made on the report had been sent to the AGF the police.
He stated, “There were certain documents
and evidence they asked us to fine-tune, which we did. We got all the
necessary documents, including the Hansard, where publications were made
and notices were given. We looked at the Hansard. Was there any
amendment during the 7th Senate? There were no amendments; nothing was
adopted during the 7th Senate. We got the papers and there was nothing
like that.
“So, where did Ekweremadu and Maikasuwa derive their authority from when no amendment was done on the floor of the Senate?”
Another highly-placed source, who was
familiar with the police probe, informed one of our correspondents on
Saturday that the SIP was able to gather the necessary evidence about
how the alleged forgery at the Senate was carried out.
The source said it was now up to the AGF and the NPCC to decide whether to re-arraign Saraki, Ekweremadu and others or not.
It was gathered that the detectives were
able to verify the extent of amendment to the Senate Standing Orders
2011, the individuals who authorised it, and the official who ordered
the printing of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015.
The source added, “The SIP, through
painstaking efforts, was able to identify who distributed the printed
copies of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, to senators-elect and it
also obtained the complete Hansard of June 9 and 24, 2015, which
indicated what transpired on the floor of the Senate as well as other
relevant evidence. These were issues the former probe did not resolve.
“It is now up to the government to
decide whether Saraki and Ekweremadu should be re-arraigned or only
Maikasuwa and Efeturi would carry the can.”
One of our correspondents gathered that
the SIP had to bypass the Clerk, National Assembly, Mohammed
Sani-Omolori, to get the necessary evidence and documents relating to
the case.
When contacted on Saturday, the
spokesperson for the AGF and the NPCC, Mr. Salisu Isah, said he was not
aware of any fresh development in the case.
“Just give me some time to find out and revert to you,” he said.
Besides the AGF, who is the Chairman of
the NPCC, the committee consists of 19 members, including the
Solicitor-General/Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Taiwo
Abidogun and Mr. Dipo Opeseyi.
When contacted on Saturday, Saraki
decline to comment on the matter, while Ekweremadu said he was not aware
of the new development in the forgery case.
The Special Adviser to the Senate
President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said, “I have no
comment on the matter,” when he was called on the telephone one of
our correspondents.
Ekweremadu, who spoke through the
Special Adviser to the Deputy President of the Senate on Media, Mr. Uche
Anichukwu, said, “We are not aware of that” when he was told that the
police had submitted a fresh report to the AGF-led committee.
Another aide to Ekweremadu, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, wondered why the police would file another
report from a fresh investigation when the security agency had sworn to
an affidavit that it had concluded its investigations into the case and
presented it before a court.

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