Police await warrant of arrest
• CCT chairman shuts down phones to stave off pressure
• South-East Senator implicated in Saraki’s ex parte application drama
There was anxiety yesterday following the relocation of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, from his personal residence in Maitama District in Abuja.
He was said to have moved to the official Guest House of the Office of the President of the Senate for “security reasons.”
It was learnt that the invasion of the Guest House by the police to arrest Saraki might be considered an assault on the Senate.
But the police were still awaiting the warrant of arrest from the Code of Conduct Tribunal on yesterday.
To stave off pressure, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, has allegedly switched off all his mobile lines.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that Saraki has moved out of his personal residence to an official apartment for “strategic reasons and safety.”
A source said: “The President of the Senate has relocated from his personal house in Abuja. Saraki is now staying in the official Guest House of the President of the Senate which is like a sacred place like the hallowed chamber of the Senate.
“If the police and security agencies invade or storm the place, it will amount to a slap on the upper chamber. This can make the Senate to join issues with the Executive despite the fact that there is no immunity for any National Assembly leaders.
“He has also been consulting with his strategists on how to vacate the Bench warrant against him by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.”
When contacted, an aide to the Senate President, however, said: “He actually moved to the Guest House since Monday because of the ongoing renovation in his personal residence due to a recent fire incident.”
As at press time, however, the police could not effect the arrest of Saraki because it was still awaiting a copy of the Bench warrant from the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
There were indications that the warrant might be sent to the police on Monday.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Olabisi Kolawole, said: “We are yet to receive the bench warrant.”
She avoided further comments when pressed to expatiate on the development.
A top source said: “I think the long session of the tribunal on Friday accounted for the delay in making the warrant available to the police.
“And a tribunal will have no justification for issuing warrant of arrest on Saturday when it is not an official period.
“The police have to be careful because any procedural error in the execution of bench warrant could affect the merit or otherwise of the case at hand.
“The police can get the warrant by 8am on Monday and effect the arrest of the President of the Senate immediately.”
All attempts to speak with the Chairman of CCT, Justice Danladi Umar failed as his phones had been switched off.
An official of the tribunal could not immediately ascertain the status of the bench warrant.
The official said: “I cannot give you the status on the bench warrant until Monday. I knew it was being processed after the session on Friday.
“On the CCT chairman, he has to switch off because of pressure from politicians, friends and associates. Some people are just desperate to either speak or meet with him on the matter.
“Also, the case is sensitive and all his lines and other tribunal members will now be subjected to security checks by relevant agencies. Even some supporters of the defendant will be monitoring the call logs of Justice Umar.”
Meanwhile, a Senator from the South-East is being investigated by security agencies for allegedly being the brain behind the ex parte motion filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Code of Conduct Bureau, and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from arraigning Saraki .
A security source said: “The said Senator is used to procuring ex parte order at will from the Federal High court. We are studying his antecedents, his relationship with some judges.
“The entire process was swift. We want to probe whether or not there was substantial compliance with the relevant rules and the role of the said Senator.”