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Saraki Trial: It is Politics, By Professor Moses Ochonu


Saraki Trial: It is Politics, By Professor Moses Ochonu


Saraki has now reluctantly agreed to appear before the CCT, an institution presided over by a man accused of corruption, a man who himself shunned an invitation from the EFCC.

I hope that the Buhari fanatics calling for street protests can now rest. I have absolutely zero sympathy for Saraki given what that evil man did to people’s savings in SGB and given the stench of the content of his asset declaration form from 2003.

But let us be honest with ourselves: if he had not sought or secured the senate presidency, would he be facing this predicament? Would the APC and the growing Buhari personality cult be declaring him worse than Lucifer? Who are we kidding? How many governors from 1999 to the present have no filth in their asset declaration before the CCB? When was the last time the CCT dug into the archive to scrutinize asset declarations from 2003?

Clearly, Mr. Saraki’s travail, though thoroughly deserved, stems not from a commitment to anticorruption by the groups baying for his blood but from his perceived ambition, which Buharists and Tinubuists consider an affront to be checked and punished.

The two groups know that Saraki, one of the financiers of President Buhari’s electoral campaign whom the president affectionately and informally called “Bukky” at a happy post election event, is not going to be convicted (the CCT made a similar show on Tinubu and the case disappeared), but just like what happened when Tinubu was arraigned by the same tribunal, the forces against the senate president simply want the priceless visual image of Saraki sitting in the dock of the CCT, which they can then deploy as a pictorial, referential platform to delegitimize him. They want to do to him what Tinubu’s detractors did to him with the iconic image of the former Lagos governor in the CCT dock. No politician recovers from such a melodramatic public portrayal.

With that image, they do not even have to do much but to simply let Saraki stew in the permanent perception of corruption because Saraki’s entire political persona would now be defined in the eyes of the public by the sight of him sitting in that dock answering to corruption charges.

It is all politics, and depending on how it plays out it can cause further rancor in the ruling party and undermine Buhari’s widely popular agenda.

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