Could it be that Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki is already losing his support base, the Senate, in his politically life-threatening battle with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which has dragged him to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), for alleged false declaration of assets or that the Senators are now listening to the protests from a section of Nigerians against their actions?
Well, speculation to this is already welling with the substantial reduction in the number of his colleagues who accompanied him to the trial on Thursday, unlike the last two outings, where the entire Senate, virtually emptied itself at the tribunal.
While on the last edition, where 81 Senators accompanied him, the Senate President, who arrived the court at 9:45am, came with about 30 Senators.
The issue that arose from the recent screening of ministerial nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, especially Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, had led to a sharp division among the Senators, with members of the two major caucuses, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the All Progressives Congress (APC) digging in on known different trenches.
Saraki, had, not only presided over the screening of Amaechi, but led his APC members, which is in the majority to confirm his appointment, against the massive protests from the PDP, including staging a walkout on the proceedings.
Even a day before, Wednesday, the disposition of the Senate President to toe party lines, also led the APC to throw away a motion from the PDP that President commenced the immediate payment of the N5,000 to unemployed Nigerians, as promised by his party during the presidential campaigns, while accepting another from APC that ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP accounted for all the funds spent in the now scrapped Sure-P programme.
There had also been intense protests among a section of Nigerians, who find it detestable that the Senators would abandon their duties to attend the proceedings at the tribunal, which ought to be a personal matter.
Apart from Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, a PDP Senator, who has been very consistent in his support for the Senate President, others at the tribunal included, Sam Anyanwu, Andy Uba, Dino Melaye, Uche Ekwunife, Adamu Aleiro, Shehu Sani, Tayo Alasoadura and, Kabiru Gaya.
Saraki is returning to the tribunal after the Court of Appeal, where he had run to at the commencement of the CCT trial, failed to stop accede to his prayers that proceedings be halted on a number of grounds, including the alleged improper constitution of the tribunal.
The decision of the appellate court had come on October 25, 2015, a day after the Senate concluded the screening of the nominees, and was immediately appealed at the Supreme Court.
The CCT is yet to give a verdict, as at the time of this report with regards to the argument from Saraki’s lawyers that it should await the outcome of the Supreme Court, having been notified of the appeal and that of the prosecution that the Senate President was merely stalling and wasting time.