The Supreme Court, Thursday, slated February 5, 2016 to determine the appeal seeking to quash the 13-count criminal charge the Federal Government entered against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCT. A seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, adjourned the case for judgment after it entertained arguments from both Saraki and the Federal Government yesterday.
The Federal Government had in the charge it filed before the CCT, alleged that Saraki falsely declared his assets, contrary to the constitutionally requirement. The Federal Government alleged that Saraki deliberately manipulated the assets declaration form he filed prior to his assumption of office as the Senate President, by making anticipatory declaration of assets. Aside allegation that he operated foreign bank account while in office as a public servant, Saraki, was also accused of acquiring wealth beyond his legitimate earnings.
Meantime, Saraki, through his team of lawyers led by Chief J. B. Daudu, SAN, yesterday, begged the Supreme Court to quash the entire charge for want of competence. Placing reliance on the provision of Paragraph 15(1) to the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, Saraki’s lawyer argued that the Justice Danladi Umar-led panel of the CCT was not legally and properly composed to try his client. Daudu insisted that a two-member panel of the CCT fell short of the constitutional requirement. “If two persons sit on a panel and in the event of a tie or disagreement over an issue, what happens? Does a chairman become a superior member, whose one vote would amount to two,” Daudu queried.