Saraki Loses As Code Of Conduct Tribunal Refuses To Quash Corruption Charges

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has dismissed an application by the senate president, Bukola Saraki, for false asset declaration charges against him to be dropped.
Mr. Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, had argued that the 13-count charge was invalid procedurally because the Code of Conduct Bureau which filed the charges, failed to allow Mr. Saraki explain discrepancies in his assets declaration forms as required by law.
But in his ruling Thursday, the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, said there was no breach of law as the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 1989, still allows the senate president raise his clarifications at the level of the tribunal.
Mr. Danladi said by law, the CCB could receive complaints of breach of the Act and refer such complaints to the Tribunal, provided that it will allow the person involved to give a statement affirming or denying the said misconduct.
Also, upholding the argument made by the prosecution, Mr. Umar said Section 3 (e) of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution gives the bureau the right to receive complaints of such nature and where necessary refer such matter to the tribunal.
According to Mr. Danladi, Section 174 of the Constitution also gives the Attorney General of the Federation the prerogative to file criminal proceedings and does not owe any explanations to any one on how to go about it.
He therefore ordered the continuation of the trial.
Mr. Saraki had earlier lost his bid to stop the trial after the the Supreme Court dismissed his initial objections.
Bukola Saraki, had returned to the Code of Conduct Tribunal where he is standing trial for alleged false declaration of assets.
Mr. Saraki arrived the CCT at 9:53am, Thursday, amidst cheers from his colleague senators who had arrived earlier.
Mr. Saraki’s trial began in September 2015 on a 13-count charge brought by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
At the last sitting on March 18, Mr. Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, asked the court to strike out the case, saying the charge was invalid.
Mr. Agabi said the CCB failed to, as required by law, invite Mr. Saraki to explain discrepancies in his asset form before bringing charges against him.
Mr. Agabi cited a previous judgement of the CCT in the case against former Lagos Governor Ahmed Tinubu in which the tribunal dismissed the charge for similar procedural flaw.
Mr. Saraki had been denied fair hearing by not being allowed to provide explanations first, Mr. Agabi, a former Federal Attorney General, said.

At Thursday’s hearing, Mr. Agabi again announced that Mr. Saraki was represented by 80 lawyers
Saraki Loses As Code Of Conduct Tribunal Refuses To Quash Corruption Charges Saraki Loses As Code Of Conduct Tribunal Refuses To Quash Corruption Charges Reviewed by Link Naija on March 24, 2016 Rating: 5

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