Supreme Court will on February 5, 2016 ‎deliver judgment in an appeal filed by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, against his arraignment on false declaration of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
The apex court fixed the date yesterday after taking arguments from counsels in the suit.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mahmud Mohammed, who presided over the seven-man panel of justices, held that the judgment will not be delivered earlier than February because of the workload of the court.
At the resumed hearing of the appeal yesterday, Counsel for Saraki, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, leading six other Senior Advocates of Nigeria, submitted that the criminal charge of false assets declaration filed against Saraki by the federal government was incompetent and asked the court to set it aside.
Daudu submitted that the constitution makes it mandatory for the Code of Conduct Tribunal where Saraki is being prosecuted to have mandatory three members, adding that anything to the contrary is improper, illegal and unlawful.
The appellant counsel, who formulated six issues for the apex court to determine, insisted that the CCT cannot lawfully sit and prosecute any Nigerian until when it is properly and legally constituted to discharge its mandate.
Besides that, Daudu also argued that the charge against Saraki cannot stand in the face of the law in the absence of an Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, to institute the trial.
He said at the time Saraki was put on trial, there was no evidence that the AGF donated or delegated his power to institute criminal charge to anyone.
But Counsel to the federal government, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, ‎asked the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
He said the CCT was properly constituted and has power to go ahead with two of its three members‎ having formed a quorum in compliance with the Interpretation Act.
Jacobs also argued that in the absence of the AGF, the law empowers law officers of the federation to institute a criminal charge against any Nigerian.
He therefore urged the court to resolve the issue in favour of the federal government and order Saraki to go and face trial.
The Senate president had filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which on October 30 affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try him on 13 counts of false assets declaration.
An application for stay of proceedings was also filed by his counsel, urging the Supreme Court to halt the proceedings of the CCT to try him for the alleged offences. Saraki is seeking for an order to stop his trial before the CCT pending the determination of his appeal.
Daudu urged the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Appeal Court on the grounds that it erred in law when it affirmed the competence of the proceedings of the CCT, which sat on the appellant’s case with only two members as against the three provided for in the provisions of Paragraph 15(1) of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
He also faulted the majority decision of the Appeal Court where it held that there was lacuna regarding the quorum of the tribunal and that the charges were validly initiated in the absence of the AGF.
The Court of Appeal had by a two-to-one decision on October 30, dismissed Saraki’s appeal against the ruling of the tribunal in which it affirmed its jurisdiction to hear the charges against him.

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