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Update: S’Court dismisses Saraki’s appeal to stop his CCT trial

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] to try him.

Senate President Saraki has stated that he will head to the Supreme Court in search of justice after a Court of Appeal ruled against him

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] to try him.

The Tribunal had arraigned Senator Saraki on a 13 count charge bordering on false declaration of assets in breach of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The presiding Judge, Justice Onnoghen had, at first, given Saraki hopes saying that by virtue of Section 28 of the Interpretation Act, the sitting of CCT with 2 members is valid.

He, however, gave impetus to the jurisdiction of the CCT declaring that it has quasi jurisdiction and so can issue bench warrant.

The Saraki trial began on Friday, 18 September, 2015, at the CCT premises in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory with Saraki absent at the hearing but was represented by his lawyer.

The trial went on despite the fact that the embattled Senate President had obtained an injunction from a Federal High Court in Abuja restraining the Code of Conduct Bureau [CCB] from the trial.

On the other hand, the CCB had requested that Saraki should be brought before it or arrested within two hours for failure to comply.

Saraki had earlier declared that the legal action against him is only but a political witch-hunt as contained in a report published by Elombah.com titled “System is after me because of my stance on corruption – Saraki”.

In the report, the Senate President has described the alleged falsification of asset declaration against him as a result of desperation to fight him because of his fight against Corruption in the Country.

The Code of Conduct Bureau had slammed a 13-count charge of corruption on the President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki over false declaration of Asset.

Saraki, while reacting in statement issued, also said that ‎CCB did not have any legal right to take him to Court saying that only Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) has the right to charge him to court.

‎Saraki said, “We also note that anytime you try to fight corruption or insist that the right thing should be done, the system will always come after you. This is another case of desperation to fight Dr. Saraki because of his recent stance on national.

“It should be noted that we do not know on whose authority these charges are filed when the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act clearly indicate that any prosecution must be authorised by an Attorney General and we know the nation last had an AG in May 2015. 

“This is another clear indication that the CCT is acting under influence from outside its domain and therefore ready to bend the rules to achieve this obnoxious objective.”

Consequently, thereafter, Mr Saraki sought refuge in the Court of Appeal but the case was equally thrown out for lack of merit.

He then approached the Supreme Court which has on Friday ruled that the Senate president must stand trial at the CCT for corruption allegations.

Justice Onnoghen said in conclusion that Saraki’s appeal lacked merit and dismissed it.

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