Appeal Court Reserves Judgment in Saraki’s Appeal against Trial at CCT

A five-man panel of Justices of the Appeal Court, Abuja, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, Thursday, reserved judgment in an appeal filed by the Senate President Bukola Saraki against his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki had asked the appellate court to determine whether it was right for the Tribunal to proceed with the 16-count criminal charge the Federal Government filed against him.
He is challenging jurisdiction of the Danladi Umar-led Tribunal to try him on the basis of a charge he said was incompetent and legally defective.
Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, while arguing the appeal, prayed the appellate court to set aside a ruling the Tribunal delivered on March 24.
The Tribunal had in the said ruling held that it has the requisite jurisdiction to hear and determine the case against the Senate President.
Countering the application on behalf of the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacobs, urged the appellate court to dismiss Saraki’s appeal which he said not only lacked merit, but also constituted an abuse of the judicial process.
It is position of the government that since the issue of jurisdiction was earlier decided by the Supreme Court on February 5, following an appeal by Saraki, the Tribunal ought not have entertained another application on the same issue.
Jocabs therefore prayed the court to among other things, determine whether the decision of the Tribunal contained in its ruling of March 24, 2015, is a nullity by virtue of the provision of section 294(3) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.
“Whether the CCT is not right in holding that the appellant need not be invited by the CCB to make a written admission of the breach of Code of Conduct pursuant to section 3(d) of the CCB and Tribunal Act, before he can competently be charged before the CCT.
“Whether the AGF did not competently and validly initiate the criminal charge pending before the CCT against the appellant.
And “Whether the CCB cannot competently collaborate with the AGF and the EFCC in its duty to investigate asset declaration form submitted to it by public officer and in referring to complaint of infraction to the CCT”.
After listening to the arguments from both counsels, the Appeal Court reserved judgment to a later date.

Author: News Editor

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