24 March 2016

Nigeria: Saraki Loses Again As Code of Conduct Tribunal Refuses to Quash Corruption Charges

Photo: Daily Trust
Bukola Saraki

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.

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