False assets declaration: Saraki loses at Appeal Court

Bukola Saraki docked

The Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed a suit by Senate President Bukola Saraki seeking to quash corruption charges brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Sitting in Abuja, the Appeal Court ruled that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has the authority to try Saraki who is facing a 13-count charge of alleged false declaration of assets while he was governor of Kwara State.

He denies the charges.

Mr. Saraki had challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal and had asked the Court of Appeal to nullify the trial which is set to begin in November.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the “The CCT is a court of criminal jurisdiction, albeit limited jurisdiction”.

It added: “There is no inherent difference between a court and a tribunal. The only difference is that tribunals in most cases handle special cases”.

The three-member panel of judges, led by Moore Adumein, also affirmed that the tribunal was properly constituted and that the absence of an Attorney General of the Federation does not stop Saraki’s trial.

Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, had on Wednesday, October 21 adjourned Saraki’s trial declaration till November 5 to await the outcome of the matter before the Appeal Court.