A new twist in the case against Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, emerged yesterday as a member of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, disclosed that the entire trial was needless and in contradiction with the process stipulated in the CCB and Tribunal Act.
The source who spoke on anonymity said if the Bureau had followed the provision of Section 3(d) of its own law, it will not rush to trial but invite Saraki to come and defend whatever inconsistency or infraction noted in his asset declarations.
According to the Bureau official who does not want to be quoted, the normal procedure according to Section 3(d) of the Act is that the Bureau should set up a committee to determine whether an infraction has been committed by any public officer after submitting his/her asset declaration forms.
Section 3(d) of the CCB Act states that: “The functions of the Bureau shall be ….to receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of this Act and where the Bureau considers it necessary to do so, refer such complaints to the Code of Conduct Tribunal established by Section 20 of this Act in accordance with Section 20 to 25 of this Act.
“Provided that where the person concerned makes a written admission of such breach or non-compliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary.”
The member of the Bureau said that the Section of the Act was not complied with before the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was charged before the tribunal. “If it had been complied with, the man will probably not even need to get to court at all, even if he committed all we are charging him with, once he admits the inconsistency and regularises them”.
The source recalled that it is this same refusal to follow procedure stipulated that led to the collapse of the case filed by the Bureau against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2011.
He added that members who observed this lapse are dissatisfied with the unilateral action of the CCB chairman, Mr. Sam Saba, who did not consult other members before referring the matter to the tribunal.
The Senate President was last week, charged to court for alleged fake declaration of assets. The injunction he later secured at a high court was dismissed by the Tribunal. It later directed the Inspector General to produce the Senate President in court at its next sitting. But at the close of last week, Saraki had filed an Appeal at the Appeal Court in Abuja.

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