Abuja – A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Peter Akpatason, says the trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has proved that nobody is above the law in Nigeria.
The lawmaker, who represents Akoko-Edo Constituency of Edo, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, while reacting to the trial of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, by Code of Conduct Tribunal and his acquittal on Wednesday.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the trial was, in the first instant, not the best for the polity, but that it had demonstrated the fact that nobody was above the law.
Akpatason said that in a democratic system, the rule of law must be obeyed.
He said that the tribunal’s judgment itself came at a time when the judicial system in the country had suffered much setback as a result of the unwarranted tension.
“At a time like this, we need some amount of peace to enable the country work as a united nation.”
According to him, the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature need to be properly focused to enable us do the needful to get out of the present economic situation.
Akpatason added that it was a big plus that after the judiciary exercised its right, the senate president was vindicated.
“I hope that will apply to other arms of government.
“If the Senate President can be tried, others, apart from president and governors who enjoy immunity, should be tried too.
“They should use the opportunity to reconsider forms submitted by members of the executive,’’ he said.
The lawmaker noted that some Nigerians may be disappointed with the tribunal’s judgement, but said that majority of Nigerians appreciated that the senate president humbled himself and passed through the entire process.
“I will believe that the senate president being tried was in a way like the whole National Assembly was being tried.
“However the point has been proven that nobody is above the law. Today, it is the turn of Bukola Saraki; tomorrow, it will be the turn of another person.
“What is important is that there should be fairness and justice at the end,’’ he said.
In his reaction, another legislator, Rep. Prestige Ossy (Abia-APGA), said that judgment of the tribunal was historic and a demonstration that the CCT was “truly independent’’.
“It is a historic judgement. The CCT has given its verdict and we should all respect it.
“The prosecution failed to prove its allegations beyond any reasonable doubt that the senate president under-declared his assets and he has been set free.
“I will say that this is good for our democracy as it will further enhance Nigerians’ faith in the judiciary.’’ he said.
The lawmaker, therefore, advised that Saraki to concentrate on delivering good legislative and democratic dividends to Nigerians “now that he has been left off the hook’’.
“I believe this judgement is not only good for him but for the anti-corruption war, for lovers of democracy, and indeed for the entire system,’’ he added. (NAN)