The Supreme Court has cleared the way for Senate President Bukola Saraki to return to the Code of Conduct Tribunal and stand trial over the allegation of false asset declaration when he was Kwara’s governor for eight years.
The apex court made up of even justices, including the Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Muhammed, on Friday, dismissed Saraki’s appeal to stop his trial at the CCT.
The lead judgment delivered by Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen held that the CCT was properly constituted to exercise jurisdiction over Saraki’s trial, citing the provisions of the tribunal’s enabling laws and that the Constitution conferred the CCT with quasi-criminal jurisdiction and thus could validly issue a bench warrant.
Justice Onnoghe thereby held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 was applicable to the proceedings of the tribunal.
He also dismissed Saraki’s allegation that he was not properly served with the charges. The justice said the charges filed before the CCT before the appointment of the attorney-general of the federation were valid.
Reading further his judgement that knock almost all the prayers Saraki brought, the justice noted Saraki attempted to intimidate the CCT by claiming that it disobeyed the order of a Federal High Court barring it from continuing with the proceedings pending the determination a suit filed by the Senate President to challenge the trial.
“I have looked at the records, there is nowhere such orders was made,” Justice Onnoghen ruled.
The Supreme Court atmosphere was somewhat calmer compared to the CCT’s when Saraki, with about 60 senators bussed in, went for his first hearing at the CCT in December.