The senate President Bukola Saraki has given reasons why he was absent at key meetings of his party the All Progressive Congress APC during the week.
Saraki in a statement by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct of Tribunal (CCT) prevented him from attending the various meetings, as against the perception that he was planning to dump the ruling APC.
“Dr. Saraki and his delegation, including senators, returned to his Abuja home at 7.45 pm, while the APC National Caucus meeting was scheduled to begin by 8.00 pm on the same night. Clearly, there was no way he could have arrived at the venue on time, especially as it would be a breach of protocol to do so at a meeting presided over by the President.
“Dr. Saraki did not fix the date of the adoption of briefs by prosecution and defence lawyers. The Tribunal did, and by law, Saraki must be physically present at the Tribunal as the defendant. It stands to reason that he cannot be in two places at once, and so he was unavoidably absent at the NEC meeting,” the statement read in part.
He said no one should attach any mischievous or inaccurate interpretation to the absence of the senate president at the two meetings held at times when his whereabouts were a matter of public record.
“It is incontrovertible that he is a leader, major stakeholder and founding father of the APC. Nothing has changed with regard to all these. I hope this clarification will halt the speculations, misinformation, misinterpretation, mischief and fake news about the ‘Why’ and ‘What’ of his absence at the APC National Caucus and NEC meetings,” he said.