The Federal Government has failed to arraign the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu before an Abuja High Court on charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules used to conduct the election that brought them into office, as principal officers.
Contrary to media report on the arraignment, the federal government has not served the four defendants with the criminal charge as required by law.
The court bailiff was said to have taken the charge to the National Assembly complex on Friday evening, but did not meet the defendants in their offices.
Similar attempt was also said to have been made to serve them on Monday, but it also failed, because he was told that the lawmakers do not sit on Fridays and Mondays.
The court said that until they have been personally served, the arraignment cannot hold.
The charges filed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation by the Federal Government, against the senators reads:
“That you, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Benedict Efeturi, Dr. Olubukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, on or about the 9th of June, 2015, at the National Assembly complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired amongst yourselves to forge the Senate Standing Order, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed the offence of conspiracy, punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.”
It also accused them of fraudulently forging the Senate Standing Order 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Order, 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when they knew that the said Order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate Order.
Some lawmakers, on behalf of the Senate, petitioned the Police, alleging forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 that produced Saraki and his deputy, Ekweremadu, following election of principal officers for the Senate.