sarakiSupreme Court yesterday unanimously ruled that Senate President Bukola Saraki’s appeal against the validity of his trial and the competence of the charge on assets declaration preferred against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, lacked merit.
The seven-man panel of the apex court presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, therefore dismissed his appeal, meaning that Saraki must go before the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB to answer all the charges.
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 and 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 a bench warrant.
He thus held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 was applicable to the proceedings of the tribunal and subsequently dismissed Saraki’s allegation that he was not properly served with the charges and held that the charges filed before the CCT before the appointment of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF 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 order was 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.
After the judgment yesterday, an army of political associates, who attended the proceedings walked out of the court quietly.
Following the Supreme Court judgment, it is expected that the CCT will soon issue hearing notice for the continuation of the Senate President’s trial on three counts of false assets declaration.
The embattled Saraki had filed appeal through his lead counsel, Chief Joseph Daudu (SAN), challenging the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja delivered on October 30, 2015, which affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him and the competence of the charges of false assets declaration preferred against him by the Federal Government.


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