Supreme Court Okays Bukola Saraki’s Corruption Trial

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the case brought by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging the powers of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, to try him for false assets declaration ion.

Delivering judgment today, Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen upheld the Appeal Court’s ruling that the CCT is validly constituted and can try criminal matters, including issuing a bench warrant.

“I find no merit in the appeal, it is hereby dismissed,” the court ruled, thus paving the way for the trial to continue

Saraki is being tried for offenses committed when in office as governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011 to the tune of more than N10 billion naira.

He had, however, launched a legal battle to prevent his trial, challenging the eligibility of the CCT to try him.

Led by his counsel and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Saraki went from a Federal High in Lagos to the Court of Appeal, all of which threw out his applications.

In September 2015, the Appeal Court ruled that the CCT was validly constituted adding that appearing before it was not a death sentence for Saraki.

“It is not in the habit of this court to interfere in the ‎proceeding of a lower court when the other parties have not been heard.

“The end of the matter is that this application is hereby refused,” Justice Morrie Adumein said while striking out Saraki’s appeal on September 21, 2015.

The Senate President then approached the Supreme Court to prevent the CCT from trying him.

The apex court on December 3 asked the Tribunal to suspend the trial until the determination of the case brought before it and fixed February 5 for judgement.






     

     

    Reacting to the judgement, Saraki said he was disappointed but vowed to clear him when the trial resumes.

    “He expresses disappointment over the Judgment of the apex court in the country on the six grounds of his appeal.

    “He however will like to put it on record that the facts of the substantial matter are not before the Supreme Court since the apex court was only invited to rule on some preliminary issues in the process of commencing the trial,” a statement issued by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, read.

    “The Senate President believes he will have his day in the court to prove his innocence of the charges preferred against him during the trial proper.”

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