Senate President, Olusola Saraki, has lost his case asking the Supreme Court to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Bureau. Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged asset declaration fraud. The Code of Conduct Bureau said Mr. Saraki committed the offence, and maintained a foreign account, when he was governor of Kwara State.
A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court led by a retiring Justice John Fabiyi had on December 4, 2015, ordered a stay of proceeding by the Tribunal pending the determination of Mr. Saraki’s appeal. The court also asked counsel on both sides to submit their briefs of argument within 14 days. The court then fixed February 5, 2016, to deliver its judgement.
Mr. Saraki’s appeal before the country’s apex court contends that the CCT lacks jurisdiction to try him. His lawyers argue that the tribunal was not duly constituted as it comprised two instead of three members provided for by the Constitution. Also, the embattled Senate President’s lawyers claim that the charges against Mr. Saraki were not competent.
A panel of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal had earlier, in a split decision, affirmed the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try Mr. Saraki.
Majority of the senators have being in support of Senator Saraki as they see the travail of Saraki as a witch hunt by some powers in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.