Friday, 18 March 2016

False declaration of assests: Saraki arrives CCT with 80 lawyers for trial

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Friday morning arrived the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, ahead of his trials with 80 lawyers.

Saraki who is facing charges of alleged false asset declaration and corruption arrived the CCT at about 10:00am.

Speaking with journalists upon arrival, Saraki’s lead counsel, Justice Kanu Agabi said: “We shall win as there are 80 of us on this side.”
DAILY POST recalls that the trial which was billed to commence March 11 was adjourned till today at the instance of Agabi who challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar and on the ground that he was new to the case.

Agabi informed the tribunal that it had filed a motion contending with the Chairman’s jurisdiction and should be heard before commencement of trial.

“My Lord, as you are aware, we have taken over this case newly and have challenged your jurisdiction from trying this case and unless that has been exhausted, I don’t think it’s appropriate for this honourable tribunal to go ahead,” Kanu submitted.

While describing the said jurisdictional motion as frivolous, the Defence Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs averred from Section 398(2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, that the case which is due for trial cannot be stopped on counter motions that bother on jurisdiction.

Jacobs said that has been surreptitious approach to stall the trial, while urging the Tribunal to discontenance it, otherwise the integrity of the Judiciary would be at stake.

He also informed the Court that the same motion had traveled from the Tribunal to the Supreme Court and it was ruled that Saraki should be made to face the 13-count charge preferred against him, a copy of which he showed the Court.

“My Lord, I want to refer to Section 398(2) of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which states inter alia that the case which is due for trial should not be stopped midway as a result of counter motions”, Rotimi said.

Trial has now commenced…

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