The Supreme Court has upheld Senator Bukola Saraki Trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT),dismissing the appeal filed by the Senate President to stop his ongoing trial at Tribunal for false declaration of assets.
In the judgement delivered by Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, the Apex Court court dismissed the appeal of Mr. Saraki against the composition of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the powers of the tribunal, effectively ordering him to stand trial which is proper and in order.
The court also resolved the issue of whether the tribunal had jurisdiction to try criminal matters and issue bench warrants against Mr. Saraki.
Bukola Saraki was arraigned September 18, 2015 by the CCT on a 13-count charge for false asset declaration but he pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying they were politically motivated and so, was granted bail.
The Tribunal charged the Senate President for allegedly acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator, failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, among others.
According to the tribunal, it violated sections of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended. The CCT also said Mr. Saraki breached Section 2 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and punishable under paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.
Mr. Saraki had then challenged the powers and composition of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to hear the case at the Court of Appeal but failed as the court directed the trial to continue.
Having failed at the Appeal Court, the Senate President in November 2015, appealed to the Supreme Court to halt his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
With the Supreme Court ruling today, it is expected that the CCT will soon issue hearing notice for the continuation of the senator’s trial on the 13-counts charges of false assets declaration.