Senator Kabir Marafa, spokesperson for the Senate Unity, has accused the senate president Bukola Saraki of being behind the controversies around the 2016 budget in order to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Marafa, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday. He said that the budget controversies is connected to the pending trial of Saraki at the CCT, and thus, called for Saraki’s immediate suspension.
Honestly speaking, if I am to comment on the controversy that has been trailing the 2016 budget in the Senate, I will say it is all the work of the fifth columnists there.
He said, then he continued:
We woke up one day and the Senate President just came and said there was no budget and that the budget was stolen, thereby embarrassing everybody. But the following day, the Speaker said his own was not stolen. Next, they said the budget is doctored; next, they said the budget is padded; next, they said there are discrepancies all over the place. We knew how they came into the leadership of the National Assembly or the Senate.
Was it a coincidence that the issue of padding and everything just came up after the Supreme Court said go and face your trial? Suddenly, we started hearing that we cannot pass the budget as we promised, because there are discrepancies and so on and so forth. In a nutshell, all the noise about the budget is all about this issue of corruption trial or CCT trial. That is all; no more, no less.
Above all, the Senate President should be suspended for refusing to resign as the Senate President in the face of trial on corruption charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and invariably battering the image of the Senate.
The lawmakers had, on February 9, announced the postponement of the 2016 budget due to what it called “discrepancies, errors and ambiguities” that were inherent in the budget proposal. The budget which was originally slated to have been passed on February 25, was postponed indefinitely.
Marafa, however, boasted that no one can suspend him for his statements:
Nobody, I repeat, nobody in that Senate, can suspend me over those remarks I made in the said interview. Rather, it is the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, that should be suspended by the Senate for turning things upside down within the last eight months. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives us the right to say our opinion. We can air our views and nobody can deny us that one.