There were indications on Saturday that the Federal Government is no longer interested in pursuing the case of forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, allegedly masterminded by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH revealed that the Federal Government might have closed the case despite a fresh report of further investigation unearthing new facts about the forgery allegations.
SUNDAY PUNCH had exclusively reported that the police submitted a fresh report of investigation to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice through the National Prosecution Coordination Committee.
In the fresh report, the police indicted Saraki and Ekweremadu.
The Federal Government had, on October 7, 2016, withdrawn the charges of criminal conspiracy before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, Abuja.
Our correspondent gathered on Saturday that the AGF office received fresh police investigation some days after the charges were withdrawn.
Secretary of the NPCC and a Special Adviser to the AGF, Sylvester Imhanobe, confirmed to our correspondent that the AGF office received the report but that it would not change the earlier decision to withdraw the charges.
But a source in the Federal Ministry of Justice told our correspondent that the Federal Government also, partly resolved to stop pursuing the case in order to “bolster the rapport” with the Senate, which President Muhammadu Buhari “desperately needs to push through a number of its policies”.
Saraki and Ekweremadu were earlier charged alongside a former Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and a former deputy clerk, Mr. Ben Efeturi,for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Orders, which were used for the inauguration of the Eight Senate.
All of them pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail .
A police operative told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, that the SIP had addressed the loopholes the AGF identified in the former report.
He said, “The police have concluded investigations into the case and submitted the report to the NPCC. This was done about a month ago.”
Giving an insight into the report, a source at the Force Headquarters said, “Conspiracy is a very wide offence and Maikasuwa couldn’t have done what he did without the connivance of Saraki and Ekweremadu.”
When asked if the panel made any recommendation for the prosecution of the beneficiaries of the forgery, he stated, “There is no need to make any recommendation to prosecute them because the investigation did not exonerate them.”
Another source, who was familiar with the police probe, stated that the SIP was able to gather necessary evidences on how the alleged forgery was carried out.
The source said it was up to the AGF and the NPCC to decide whether to re-arraign Saraki, Ekweremadu and others.
It was gathered that the detectives were able to verify the extent of amendment to the Senate Standing Orders 2011, the individuals who authorised it, and the official who ordered the printing of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015.
Our correspondents gathered that the SIP had to bypass the Clerk, National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to get the necessary evidence and documents relating to the case.