By Segun Elijah
Sen. President Bukola Saraki has brains. Ok. Hairy tale. Every idiot has. Well. But his is different. It’s no match for the bird brain bright sparks like the paper-chewing Olisa Metuh and blowhard Gov. Ayo Fayose carry in their chumps.
Saraki’s skull makes him more calculative—like an ace chess champ. And foxy—like the Niccolo Machiavellian prince.
And, Gawd knows, jiggery-pokery is the better part of valour in biting back when sleazehounds like the EFCC or Code of Conduct Bureau sic you. Put method to your slyness in Nigeria, then you have all you need to gag those toothless bulldogs—forever. Think Rivers ex-Gov. Peter Odili’s High Court ‘eternal’ injunction against the EFCC in 2008.
Heads or tails, Saraki’s skulduggery may steal the show in the current corruption trials in Nigeria. Doesn’t it knock your socks off: that Saraki hires a SAN and former AGF to defend him before a judge, and against a prosecutor, both of who, as young lawyers, fetched and carried for the AGF?
It’s all a game. And Saraki has got a wild card: Kanu Agabi. The long silk took both the CCB lawyer Rotimi Jacobs and CCT chairman Justice Danladi Umar under his wing in his chamber way back, and, later, in the justice ministry between 1999 and 2003.
So in the relationship tree Saraki and his strategists have drawn up, the defence lawyer, the judge, and the prosecution are just about six degree apart. For bonding’s sake, the two law officers owe their master. Or they all owe one another. A little here. A pinch there. Like the March 11 postponement Agabi worked with the CCT after the Supreme Court verdict; the apology Agabi offered Jacobs in court over the fresh motion the defence failed to serve the prosecution; and the time Umar gave the defence to kill till March 18 for the hearing of the motion.
It’s about six months since the CCB-Saraki legal sparring began. With the Agabi twist the Senate president just threw into the plot, the show has yet to start. Saraki himself said it recently—that his trial is going nowhere. Here’s the brick wall: His new hire is a SAN heading up about 63 other lawyers. And SANs are terrific at shredding the Constitution—and challenging jurisdictions. More, Agabi once had the CCT and the CCB in the hollow of his hand as AGF. So as an old hand in the art of lawyering, he knows where to grab them all.
As the grind show unfolds, Justice Umar, Jacobs, and Agabi are now on trial thanks to the wunderkind of a Senate president. They will waddle through a swamp of applications, motions, and suits. And the circuit of the latest motion (the authority of the current AGF to prosecute Saraki) is anybody’s guess. It could move on to a high court later, and then to the Appeal Court where it will land again in the Supreme Court.
As the case shuttles up and down the courts, Saraki is smoothing things out on the floor. He drones on about his labour to help Buhari nuke corruption in Nigeria. And he’s not blushing. It seems the No. 3 citizen is having a blast amidst all this firestorm of corruption allegations.
Those APC juggernauts Saraki claims triggered the uproar— Bola Tinubu and Saraki’s archrival Sen. Ahmad Lawan—are also punching the air. They have a consolation: doing a nice job helping President Buhari fight corruption. After all, if Lawan had clinched the Senate presidency, the relative peace that would follow could have buried Saraki’s past.
Even if Saraki eventually waltzes through his term, it’s still a win-win situation. Right?