Who would have thought that Shehu Sani will abandon his neutrality stand so soon all because his 'enemy', Nasir El-Rufai, who became governor of Kanuda State against his wish, is one of those with evidences against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for his alleged false assets declaration case?
In this interview with select journalists, Senator Sani had a lot to say about Saraki, the senate battle:
Many were amazed that senators escorted Senate president to the court for his hearing on the case brought against him by Code of Conduct Bureau. Were they trying to intimidate the jury?
I have been taken to court on many occasions as an activists, even military tribunals and I have also taken some people to court. My view of a court is that, in as much as it is a legal and judicial institution, it is also a public arena. Journalists can go to court, observers can also go there. Your presence in court will in no way exonerate the accused nor your absence implicate him in his case. Appearance in court has no legal value to the judge and as the president of the senate and also chairman of the national assembly, if such a leader is taken to court for whatever reason, there is nothing wrong with people supporting him.
Even if all the staff of the national assembly including the security personal go to the tribunal, they will neither add nor subtract any value to the case. It is a case between the senate president and the state. I have not been to the court myself but I will go next time to know what is happening there so that when people like you ask me questions, I will not depend on a third hand information. Solidarity has no value in the evidence before a court. You can fill up the whole court with one million people, the judge will passed judgment based on the facts on ground. That is why some court ruling usually disappoint an entire population of people. Court judgment are not based on popular feelings or moral feelings, they are based on facts, evidence and witnesses.
There is this belief that the senate president trial has a lot to do with the 2019 presidential elections, do you share this view?
I don’t know of any problem between the senate president and Mr. President. Buhari is the president and Nigerians elected him into office. He is not wanting to be a president, he is already one. He can take his bills and budget to the National Assembly confidently because his party is the majority. Saraki’s problem is being engineered, fanned, propelled, sponsored and sustain by forces that see him as a threat to them in 2019 or 2013…
Do you also see him as a threat?
The Saraki threat is not for this government, it is for what is coming ahead. So Saraki is a guinea pig of a conflict of ambition whereby if he wasn’t a senate president, he couldn’t have been in this spot light. And if he is not a threat in the future, he wouldn’t be passing through what he is passing through now. If saraki is in contest with Buhari, I will support Buhari, but Buhari has never said Saraki is in contest with him. He has never told us that and with his philosophy of being for everybody and for nobody, it also exonerates him from the problem saraki is facing today. But there are puppeteers who felt that pinning him down to a case of corruption will discredit him, will keep him busy and make him unsellable for the future. Buhari is not talking about future office, he is already occupying the pinnacle of that office and he can get what he wants from all the chambers of the national assembly. So Saraki does not pose a threat to Buhari.
Are these forces within the party or outside?
Of course they are within the party, where else will they come from? It is just a matter of time the identity of those who are interested in Saraki’s case will become open. Right now they are in the back shooting missiles, but it is just a question of time, light will cast on their faces and their activities will come to the open.
Going back to Kaduna state, what is your relationship with Governor Nasir el-Rufai?
He is the governor of Kaduna state with his office and residence based in Kaduna city and I am a senator, representing Kaduna Central where we host the office and resident of the state governor.
- when a man talk about his governor who is in the same party with him, then you know where he stands.