Trial of the embattled Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on 13 counts of false assets declaration, is to begin March 10 before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
Nigerian pilot Sunday confirmed that the CCT issued hearing notices and served same on parties to the case yesterday.
This followed a letter written on behalf of the federal government by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), intimating the tribunal of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court validating the trial.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered that Jacobs sent the letter with a copy of the Supreme Court’s judgment attached to it to the Danladi Umar-led CCT on Monday.
The Head, Press and Public Relations of the CCT, Mr Ibraheem Al-hassan, confirmed that the tribunal has issued and served hearing notices on the parties on Friday. “We have issued and served the hearing notice today,” Alhassan said.
The Supreme Court had, last week, dismissed an appeal filed by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, challenging the validity of his trial on charges of assets declaration preferred against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
A seven-man panel of the apex court presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, unanimously ruled that Saraki’s appeal against the jurisdiction of the trial and competence of the charges, lacked merit.
Justice Wallter Onnoghen, who read the lead judgment, held that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal was validly constituted by two members.
Justice Onnoghen also held that the tribunal was, by the provisions of its enabling laws and the Constitution, conferred with the quasi-criminal jurisdiction and thus could validly issue bench warrant.
He thus held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 was applicable to the proceedings of the tribunal.
He dismissed the allegation by Saraki that he was not properly served with the charges and also held that the charges filed before the CCT before the appointment of the Attorney-General of the Federation were valid.
He also noted that there was an attempt by Saraki to intimidate the CCT by claiming that it disobeyed the order of a Federal High Court barring it from continuing with the proceedings pending the determination a suit filed by the Senate President to challenge the trial.
“I have looked at the records, there is no where such orders were made,” Justice Onnoghen ruled.
The CJN and other Justices on the panel agreed with the judgment. The rest of the panel members who consented are Justices Tanko Muhammad, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Chima Nweze and Amiru Sanusi.