So after going front and back on this false declaration trial, Mr. Saraki finally arrived the tribunal premises at 9:32 a.m., accompanied by “about 50 senators and some members of the House of Representatives”, his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Olaniyonu however declined further comments, saying he was already seated in the courtroom.
Some of the senators in court, according to a PREMIUM TIMES reporter at the trial, are Theodore Orji, Sam Egwu, Ike Ekweremadu, Shaba Lafiaji, Aliyu Wamakko, Rafiu Ibrahim, Tayo Alasoadura, Hamma Misau, Samuel Anyanwu, Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi, among others.
The Chairman of the Tribunal came into the courtroom at 10.32 a.m, and apologised for the delay in the commencement of proceeding. He said the tribunal was sorting out some matters.
This newspaper learnt that the Senate President and his supporters first converged on the National Assembly early on Tuesday morning from where they took off in a convoy of buses for the tribunal.
One of the senators, who asked not to be named, said he and his colleagues decided to provide cover for the senate president to prevent him from being arrested or humiliated by the police.
A supporter of the Senate President, now also inside the courtroom, told PREMIUM TIMES, “We are already seated. No shaking. The plan is to humiliate the man, not minding if they break the law or violate the procedure.
“We have nothing to fear. After Saraki has exercised his fundamental human rights in relevant courts, we are here to to show the lies contained in the charges.”
Mr. Saraki had on Monday released a statement, saying he was now ready to attend his trial, days after he battled frantically to use the courts to halt the trial.
The tribunal had ruled Monday that Mr. Saraki must appear before it at 10am today.
Mr. Saraki failed to appear before the tribunal during Monday’s sitting despite an arrest warrant issued against him by the tribunal last Friday.
He is facing charges bordering on corruption and false assets declaration.
The tribunal opened the trial last Friday but the senate president failed to show up. He was represented by a team of lawyers led by a former president of the Nigeria Bar Association, Joseph Daudu.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, ordered the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to effect the arrest of the senate president and produce him before the Tribunal on Monday.
Mr. Saraki’s lawyers immediately filed a suit at the Court of Appeal for a stay of execution.
Despite the appeal, the Tribunal resumed the trial on Monday without the senate president appearing.
At the hearing, Mr. Saraki’s lawyers objected to the sitting contending that the Tribunal was incompetently constituted.
They argued that the 1999 Constitution provided that the Tribunal can only sit with three of its members, namely the chairman and two members present as against two – chairman and one member – which was the case when the trial resumed.
However, Mr. Umar responded by referring to the Interpretation Act, which says the chairman and one member could sit during any trial
*Our senators are so less busy. Chai. And come to think of it, what would they be doing when their president wasn’t on seat? But 50 senators? Too much please
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Yvonne Jegede speaks on failed marriage, calls ex-husband ‘deadbeat dad’
Yvonne Jegede, the Nollywood actress, has accused Olakunle ‘Abounce’ Fawole, her ex-husband, of being a deadbeat father.
The actress spoke about her failed marriage during a show hosted by Mercy Johnson Okojie.
Jegede said nothing significant was the cause of their divorce.
She said despite having a “solid friendship” before marriage, they weren’t just compatible and “were on different pages”.
“It didn’t work out and we can’t force it. I really don’t want to talk about the problem we had but honestly, it wasn’t worth splitting over. I think we were on different pages, we were not even reading the same book in the first place,” she said.
“He is a very good guy with a good mind, sympathy and that’s why I married him. But I guess he is not the right person for me so we had to go our separate ways.
“I already saw we both don’t have a future together so I had to leave. I didn’t go through anything though because he didn’t beat me, he did nothing.
“Olakunle and I don’t talk anymore. I don’t know the reason for that because he had a solid friendship aside from the marriage.”
Jegede further called Fawole a “deadbeat father” who doesn’t care about his son’s wellbeing.
She said the first and last time he asked about his son was when the boy was 5 months old — when she threatened not to use his name as the boy’s surname.
She added that despite reaching out to him, he still didn’t come to check up on his son.
“The first time he publicly accepted and carried the son was when he was 5 months old. I gave him an ultimatum that I will remove his surname if the boy turns 5 and he doesn’t show up,” she said.
“I had given my son a compound name, Xavier Jegede Fawole, and I threatened that I will remove the Fawole and leave just the Jegede since I individually raised him.
“Since that day he never called. He doesn’t wish him a happy birthday on his birthdays. He doesn’t call him to ask about his well-being.
“Your gift is in my hand yet you don’t care. You see, one moment I dreaded the most is for my child to wake up one day and ask where is my father and it has happened.
“That day he (the son) asked, I had to send messages to his siblings to ask him to come and check up on him but it yielded no result.
“However, my house is open for him to come to check on his son but he clearly doesn’t want to. My father went for father’s day to represent him the other day, it was quite painful. But he doesn’t want to be involved in his son’s life so I’m going to raise my son myself.”
Blaqbonez disappointed over Wizkid’s comment on rappers
Blaqbonez, the Nigerian artiste, says he is “disappointed” over Wizkid‘s controversial comment about rappers in Africa.
Wizkid has been in the news since last week over his scathing criticism of rap music which he dismissed as “boring” and “dead”.
In an interview, Wizkid stated that he doesn’t listen to rap, suggesting rappers have failed to adapt to change.
“Afrobeats is the new pop. I sold two million copies in America off of one song! Even some American artists don’t have a diamond record. If I’m being honest, I don’t listen to any other genre of music anymore,” he said.
His comment attracted a chorus of condemnation from a number of indigenous hip-hop artistes and fans of rap music.
MI Abaga appeared to have countered Wizkid, saying rap is “still on the rise”.
Oladips, the fast-rising rapper, also called out the ‘Ojuelegba’ crooner, asking him if he has ever helped any rapper.
Still unsatisfied, the ‘Bad To Me’ crooner later took to his Snapchat on Saturday to describe Nigerian rappers as “broke boys”.
He also claimed Sarkodie, Nasty C, and Black Sheriff are the only rappers in Africa.
“Can’t believe y’all broke boys really thought Big Wiz will talk about y’all, wow! Y’all keep sending una popsy rap videos! I go dey watch maybe I fit help una mama life,” he wrote.
“Y’all not even rappers, Nasty C/ Sarkodie/ Black Sheriff are the only rappers in Africa. Y’all dumb f****s.”
Reacting via a lengthy Twitter post, Blaqbonez registered his disappointment with Wizkid over his comment.
“The last few days had me reflecting, looking back at how far I’ve come, the Wins and the Losses, whatever rap may or may not be, it got me this, everything I have, the cult-like fans who by far are the best part of everything,” he wrote.
“I said that to say I’m disappointed, everyone knows I’m a big Wizkid fan, maybe even a di*k rider on Twitter but rn I’m disappointed, I am, I can’t hide my emotions, I wasn’t even mad at the magazine article.
“Those are conversations I’ve even had behind the scenes. But the actions that followed can’t be defended, heavily degrading and undeserved but I’d keep doing my thing, carrying the most bashed and the most attacked genre on my back.
“Showing the world what a Nigerian rapper looks like. I’d keep dropping these hits, classic albums, selling out my shows, however far it takes me I’m good with it long as i can feed my family.”
‘Davido will never do this’ — Uche Ogbodo berates Wizkid over criticism of rap
Uche Ogbodo, the actress, has taken a swipe at Wizkid for saying rap is “dead and boring”.
Wizkid had in a recent interview spoken argued for the dominance of Afrobeats over other music genres.
The singer said he does not listen to rap music anymore because he no longer finds it interesting.
Wizkid also described the rap genre as “old, boring, tired and dead”.
His comment, however, did not sit well with many indigenous practitioners and fans of rap music.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Saturday, Ogbodo called out Wizkid, stating that he had no “loyalty” to his people.
She also said Nigerians don’t like each other, adding that Davido wouldn’t have said what Wizkid said.
“Wizkid was wrong! Too wrong! How could you say such about your people?” Ogbodo asked in Pidgin and English.
“No loyalty to your people! To your country, only selfishness is everywhere. Abeg make all of them gettat, this is not nice. All Nigerian rappers, y’all are the biggest and greatest, abeg. Justice for Naija rappers.”
In another post via her Instastory, Uche Ogbodo wrote: “How dare you? Davido would never do this lai lai.”
Among those who have countered Wizkid’s viewpoint on rap is MI Abaga who insisted the genre is on the rise”.
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