Saraki Loses Appeal To Stop His Trial By Code Of Conduct Tribunal
The Court of Appeal sitting Abuja on Friday ruled that it was OK for the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki for wrong declaration of assets.
The appeal court ruled Friday, upholding the authority of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to try Mr. Saraki.
Saraki had approached the court asking it to stop his trial on the grounds that the Tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter brought against him.
He also asked the Court of Appeal to nullify the trial which is set to begin in November on another round that the tribunal was not properly constituted.
But the Court ruled on Friday that “the CCT is a court of criminal jurisdiction, albeit limited jurisdiction”.
“The immediate question is whether it is a court or not. There is no inherent difference between a court and a tribunal. The only difference is that tribunals in most cases handle special cases.
“The tribunal has power to impose sanctions according to the law. It is a court with specific criminal jurisdiction.”
The three-member panel of judges, led by Moore Adumein, also affirmed that the tribunal was properly constituted.
Adumein stated that the two-man panel of the CCT was the minimum quorum required according to the interpretation act to sit in judgment on any issue; hence the tribunal did not err in law to commence trial against Saraki with a two-man panel.
Adumein ?also held that Muslim Hassan, a deputy director at the ministry of justice, on the authority of the solicitor-general of federation- in the absence of the attorney-general of the federation- could institute criminal proceedings against him.
Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged false declaration of assets and corruption.
He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.