Assets declaration: S’Court To Rule On Saraki’s Case February 2016

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The Supreme Court panel presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, on wednesday fixed February 5, 2016 for decision to be taken on the case of alleged false asset declaration involving the Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki is challenging the ruling of the Court of Appeal which okayed his trial by the CCT.
The Federal Government had filed a 13-count charge against Saraki over alleged false declaration of assets before the CCT.
Saraki has been challenging the power of the tribunal to try him.
He, however, filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division.
In its ruling, the appellate court in a dissenting ruling of two to one asked Saraki to go back to the tribunal to face his trial.
Not satisfied, Saraki had approached the apex court.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Saraki through his counsel, J.B. Daudu (SAN), submitted that the panel of the CCT was not well constituted because it comprised two members instead of three provided for by law.
He further argued that the charges against Saraki were incompetent since they were filed in the absence of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
According to Daudu, the CCT, which is only a disciplinary panel constituted to deal with breaches by public office holders does not carry criminal conviction.
Daudu submitted that if the court allows the tribunal to sit as criminal court, it will have far-reaching implication on the jurisprudence.
However, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), in his submissions, said an academic question by the defense counsel cannot prevail on the constitution.
He added that the constitution allows the CCT to have two members to sit and hear a matter.
According to Jacobs, the law did not stipulate how many of the Judges should constitute a sitting on a matter and urged the court to hold that two members can conduct the business of the tribunal, as it was done in the case of Saraki.
Jacobs then urged the apex court to dismiss Saraki’s appeal.
After listening to both parties, the court adjourned till February 5, 2016 for ruling.

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