The Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed all the charges brought against former governor of Lagos state and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Code of Conduct Bureau, which dragged Tinubu before the Tribunal had put forward claims that the former Governor operated up to sixteen accounts in foreign countries, namely the USA and the United Kingdom while in office as Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007. The accounts were alleged to be in his name, that of his wife as well as his children. He was also accused of lying on oath while filling the mandatory asset declaration form for public officers before being sworn-in into office, by not disclosing the said accounts in his forms.
While delivering the 3-man Tribunal’s ruling, the Chairman, Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar agreed with the submission of the accused person that he was not allowed to explain about his forms at the Code of Conduct Bureau before he was brought before the Tribunal. The judge therefore dismissed the first and second charges for abuse of court proceedings.
The judge also pointed out that the prosecution failed in its bid to establish a prima facie case against the accused as no evidence of proof or affidavit was attached or issued to the court.
He thereafter ruled that in the circumstance, the Tribunal lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case and therefore quashed the charges.
There was a mild drama at the last sitting as the former governor challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him. He refused to either mount the dock or enter his plea. His Counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) had argued then that Tinubu was being charged before a tribunal which is unknown to the Nigerian Constitution. He argued that the mandatory conditions precedent for referral of complaints by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to the tribunal and the subsequent exercise of jurisdiction by the tribunal were not complied with in the matter.