Court strikes out Saraki’s appeal
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has again affirmed the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, on charges on false assets declaration.
Delivering judgment on Friday in the appeal filed by Saraki, the Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the Appeal Court, affirmed CCT’s jurisdiction after dismissing the appeal filed by Saraki challenging his trial before the Tribunal.
Every member of the panel unanimously agreed with the lead judgment delivered by Justice Aboki, who resolved all the eight issues submitted for determination against Saraki.
Upholding the earlier ruling of the Danladi Umar-led CCT, which affirmed the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, Justice Aboki held among others, that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the Attorney General of the Federation had the power to institute charges against him before the CCT.
The Appeal Court also held that under the Constitution, the Code of Conduct was not under any obligation to invite the appellant to enable him to make a written admission on breaches in his asset declaration forms before charges could be initiated against him.
It further held that the Tribunal had rightly departed from its earlier decision exonerating a former Lagos State governor and National Leader, of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on account that he was not invited by the CCB to confront him with the allegations levelled against him.
The court also held that the fact that the charges were initiated 13 years after the offences were allegedly committed was immaterial.
Justice Aboki, therefore, described the contention as sentimental and which the court had been enjoined not to delve into.
The judgment was the second time the Appeal Court would be delivering judgment on the same subject matter of jurisdiction of the CCT to try the Senate President.
It had last year ruled against Saraki on the jurisdiction of the CCT and asked him to proceed to face the 16-count charge preferred against him.