Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is unlikely to submit himself to the Inspector General of Police for arrest nor will appear before the Code of conduct Tribunal tomorrow over 13-count charges of false declaration of assets.
Instead, the two-term former governor of Kwara State and son of the former Senate Majority Leader in the second Republic, late Dr. Sola Saraki, will head to the Appeal Court to attempt to counter the Federal Government’s allegation that he declared false assets.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday had headed to the Appeal Court following the ruling of Justice Danladi Umar of the Code of Conduct Tribunal that the IGP, Mr Solomon Arase should arrest and produce the Senate President on Monday to answer charges over the false assets declaration.
Embattled Saraki through his lead counsel J B Daudu had sought to appeal the ruling and argued that the tribunal erred in law and acted without jurisdiction by assuming jurisdiction over the criminal trial of the appellant at the code of conduct tribunal for a charge, which is being challenged at a federal high court.
In his particulars of error, Saraki stated that as of the time the lower tribunal overruled the appellant application to discharge the order for bench warrant for his arrest by the respondent; there exist an order of the Federal High Court, which was served on the lower tribunal.
He further submitted that the appellant filed an application dated September 17 challenging the jurisdiction of the lower tribunal to adjudicate on the charge brought before it and submitted that it is trite that when an accused files an application challenging the jurisdiction of a court/tribunal to adjudicate on the charge brought before it, the accused needs not be in court.
The appellant however asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the order.
A senior counsel in the matter who does not want his name mentioned, during the weekend told Nigerian Pilot Sunday that since the appeal, which was pending at the appellate court was served on the police, CCT and other parties automatically Senator Saraki opt not to honour the tribunal invitation again.
He claims that the notice therefore invalidates the tribunal’s order for the arrest of Saraki.
The CCT had on Friday ordered the Inspector General of Police to arrest the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and produce him before it on Monday to take plea in the 13-count charge slammed on him by the Federal Government over alleged false declaration of assets.
The Federal Government had on September 11 filed a 13-count charge against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The tribunal had fixed Friday for arraignment.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday recalls that Saraki on Thursday approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja with an ex-parte application seeking to restrain the Federal Government, Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal from arraigning him.
The trial judge at the high court, Justice AR Mohammed in a ruling in chambers summoned the chairmen of CCB, CCT and a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, MS Hassan to appear before it on Monday to show cause why Saraki’s application should not be granted.
When the matter came up before the tribunal, JB Daudu (SAN) and Mahmud Magaji (SAN) represented the accused person.
Prosecution Counsel, Musiliu Hassan‎ noted that the accused was not in court despite the fact that he was served with the summons, adding that they exhibited it in their process.
He however prayed the tribunal to issue a bench warrant on the accused person for disobedience of court orders.
Opposing the application, Magaji submitted that the charge, as well as the prosecution lacks validity to come before the court on ground that there is no incumbent Attorney General of the Federation.
He further argued that there is a pending ruling of the Federal High Court, which had summoned chairmen of CCB, CCT and Hassan.
The tribunal later stood down the matter.
In Friday’s ruling, Justice Danladi Umar held that the tribunal would go ahead with the trial despite objections raised by counsel to Saraki and insisted on the appearance of the Senate President before it on Monday.
“No court of co-ordinate jurisdiction can halt the proceedings of this tribunal. This tribunal called on the Senate President to come and stand his trial. The defendant is expected to respect the constitution he sworn to,” the tribunal held.
Justice Umar however ordered the Inspector General of Police to produce the Senate President before him on Monday to take his plea.
The tribunal later adjourned till Monday for arraignment.
‎In the charge, Saraki was alleged to have made false declaration in the Assets Declaration Form for Public Officers on assumption of office as the executive Governor of Kwara State in 2003 by making anticipatory declaration of a property No 15A and 15B McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos‎, when in fact the property was sold to him 2006 in the sum of N396, 150, 000 by the Implementation Committee on the Federal Government Landed Properties.
Saraki was said in the charge to have committed an offence under Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap. C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and as incorporated under paragraphs 11(1) and (2) of Part I, Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and punishable under Section 23 (2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and as incorporated under paragraph 18 of Part I, Fifth Schedule to Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
He was also alleged to have between October 2006 and May 2007 while he was the governor of Kwara State, acquired a property from the Implementation Committee on the Federal Government Landed Properties after his declaration while assuming office in the sum of N497, 200, 000 million, a sum which is not fairly attributable to his income, gift or loan approved by the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and which he wrongly claimed to have acquired from proceeds of sale of rice and sugar commodities.
The Senate President was said to have committed the offence under‎ Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap. C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and as incorporated under paragraphs 11(1) and (2) of Part I, Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The offence is said to be punishable under Section 23 (2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and as incorporated under paragraph 18 of Part I, Fifth Schedule to Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
In addition, Saraki was alleged to have on June 3, 2011 made a false declaration in the Assets Declaration Form for Public Officers at the end of his tenure as Governor of Kwara State in 2011 by refusing to declare Plot 2A, Glover Road, Ikoyi Lagos which he acquired between 2007 and 2008 through his company Carlisle Properties Limited from Central Bank of Nigeria for a total sum of N325 million.
The offense is said be committed under Section 15 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap. C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and as incorporated under paragraphs 11(1) and (2) of Part I, Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The offence is said to be punishable under Section 23 (2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and as incorporated under paragraph 18 of Part I, Fifth Schedule to Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
Saraki was also alleged to be operating a foreign bank account while he was the governor of Kwara state.
He was also alleged to have transferred the sum of $73, 223.28 from his GTB domiciliary account No. 441441953210 to the American Express Bank, New York card account No. 374588216836009.
The offence is said to be committed contrary to paragraph 3, Part I, Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 7 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and punishable under paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule.


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