Efforts by President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal from trying him was quashed on Thursday as the Justice Danladi Umar led panel held that the charge against him was valid and competent in law.
The CCT said both the law that established it and the 1999 constitution, as amended, conferred it with the requisite jurisdiction to hear and determine the case against the defendant.
Umar said that the application to quash the charge is hereby refused as it ordered the prosecution to produce its witnesses for the trial of the defendant to commence immediately”,
Saraki had challenged CCT that it lacked jurisdiction to try him and that his prosecution was politically motivated, thereby should not stand. The President of the Senate is facing 13-count charge bothering on allegation of false declaration of assets while he was the governor of Kwara State.
However, the prosecution, asked the tribunal to dismiss the application which he said was only aimed at scuttling the trial of the defendant. Jacobs relied on sections 220, 221 and 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, and argued that the law provided that such applications must be considered along with the substantive case, and ruling delivered at the end of the trial.
The prosecution equally faulted the defence lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi for citing the provision of 1979 constitution, which he said had gone obsolete with the enactment of the 1999 constitution, as amended. Saraki who was a two-term governor of Kwara State between May 2003 and May 2011, was in the charge before the CCT, marked ABT/01/15 and dated September 11, 2015, accused of breaching section 2 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, an offence punishable under section 23(2) of the Act and paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.