OrderPaperToday – The Supreme Court has fixed February 5th, 2016 to determine the appeal seeking to quash the 13-count criminal charge the Federal Government preferred against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
A seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed adjourned to deliver judgment on the appeal after it entertained arguments from both Saraki and the Federal Government Thursday.
Saraki is facing trial over allegation that he falsely declared his assets, contrary to the constitutionally requirement.
He was accused of deliberately manipulating the assets declaration form that he filed prior to his assumption of office as the Senate President, by making anticipatory declaration of assets, as well as, operated foreign bank account while in office as a public servant.
The offence was said to have been committed when Mr. Saraki was the Governor of Kwara State.
While persuading the apex court to allow the appeal by halting Saraki’s trial, JB Daudu, SAN, relied on the provision of Paragraph 15(1) to the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and argued that the Justice Danladi Umar-led panel of the CCT was not properly and legally composed to try his client.
He further argued that the CCT, not being a court that is constitutionally equipped with criminal jurisdiction, lacked the powers to dock the Senate President on the basis of the 13-count charge that is pending before it.
However, while praying the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal, government lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, relied on the provision of section 4(2)(b) of the interpretation Act, to insist that Saraki was properly charged before the CCT.
He argued that going by the provision of section 284(4) of the Constitution, the two-members of the CCT panel, formed a quorum that can hear and determine the criminal case instituted against the President of the senate by the federal government.