CCT Trial: Defining The War Between Saraki, Tinubu (Part 1)

By Bashir Akanbi

The on-going trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal is not without political orchestration of some big wigs within the political terrain in the country. Little wonder how a bonafide of a party in person of the number three citizen in the country could be facing trial without show of solidarity from the leadership of the party. It is no surprise that the ball game is turning into a battle of supremacy between a former Lagos state Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Saraki. The events leading to the discord between the duo is not far to seek.

The year 2011 marked the foremost time an external force arrayed resources to wrestle power from the Saraki Dynasty in Kwara. Then, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu sponsored Mohammed Dele Belgore SAN as a gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) against the ‘ever-winning’ Saraki camp of PDP. The triumph of the Saraki camp re-affirmed the aged-long perception that weeding off the Saraki influence in Kwara politics may continue be an exercise in futility. It was a confirmation of the firm grip of Saraki on Kwara politics.

With such defeat, it would be expected that the Tinubu camp will re-launch its political strategies ahead of the 2015 elections in a bid to re-present its candidate who continued brewing up as a floating opposition in Kwara state.

The shocking bewilderment however, was how the ACN embarked on a sudden journey of amalgamation with other political parties wooing every politician accessible to join them in forming a new party that would bring to an end, the corrupt-ridden PDP-led government under Goodluck Jonathan. Unfortunately this amalgamation would later saw the political demise of Belgore and make flourish Saraki political dexterity.

Still more, it was observed and rightly so, that the game of permanent interest –which is the dominant factor in politics –had prevailed over ‘permanent enmity’, contrary to the expectation of the Belgore fans who wanted liberty from the dominance of Saraki dynasty in Kwara politics. The august alliance between Saraki and his former rival, Tinubu, was therefore a big disappointment. Consequently, Saraki became a prominent figure to reckon with having defected along with his huge supporters from the PDP to the new party, the APC.

As the saying goes, once beaten twice shy. Saraki fell a victim of another opposition by throwing his hat in the ring for the Senate Presidency. By that singular action, Saraki unwittingly earned Tinubu’s vengeance. It is therefore not accidental that Saraki is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Moreso, the trial is overtly mishandled with the admission of the Chairman of the CCT, Justice Danladi Umar, that the tribunal took an erroneous decision in the earlier case of Tinubu to hold that the tribunal has jurisdiction in Saraki’s case. That Danladi-led Tribunal affirmed the similitude between the Saraki and Tinubu cases but hold different verdicts has raised questionable marks on the judge and the integrity of the CCT and even the judiciary as institutions of government.

It is worrisome that a judge could rule differently on the same matter with same ingredients. It is clear now that the rivalry between Saraki and Tinubu will linger on. However, Saraki had won the sympathy of many who are demanding that the error of yesteryears should be corrected with the tribunal re-initiating the trial of Tinubu. This would be seen to be fair and just, and project the Tribunal in good light.

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