Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Trial Of Saraki: Tread Softly, Dogara Cautions FG

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has called for caution over the ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki.

In his welcome address, the speaker on the matter concerning Saraki who is scheduled for trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal ,CCT, for false declaration of assets in October 2015, commended the Senate President for submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the CCT. Both principal officers emerged leaders of the Parliament, against the wishes of their party, the APC. Supporters of Saraki have insisted he is being persecuted for flouting the orders of the party.
Dogara, in his message to the members of the House following resumption from a six week summer recess, Tuesday, also commended the members for ‘avoiding further escalation through media commentaries’. “The barometer of the polity has been on the rise of late because of certain developments concerning the arraignment of the President of the Senate.

While commending the President of the Senate for submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal in the recognition that no person is above the law, I wish to caution that there is need for great circumspection in times such as this in order to maintain proper focus in pursuit of the common good,” he said.

The Speaker added that the report of the House Adhoc Committee for Code of Conduct for members, which has been submitted, will be considered, to set higher standards. “…in the performance of our onerous task of over-sighting the other arms of government, we must at all times remind ourselves that we are equally being over-sighted by the people whose mandate we hold and indeed ultimately by God.

We will therefore do well to adopt the righteous doctrine of leadership by example, only then shall we be able to face accountability with confidence,”Dogara said. Speaking further, the Speaker commended the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy as a measure to curb revenue leakages and ensure accountability.

He noted that the problem of uncontrollable leakages have been a source of concern to the Parliament and public finance management over the years. Dogara however noted that extra-budgetary expenditure constitutes revenue leakages, in accordance with Section 80 of the constitution.
“The recent submission by the Federal Ministry of Finance which revealed extra budgetary expenditure running into billions of Naira shows that Ministries, Departments and Agencies are yet to grasp the full import of revenue leakages in the contemplation of Section 80 of the Constitution,” he said.