Anti-corruption war: Government must prove capacity for fairness

The Speaker of the House of Representatives says government institutions involved in the fight against corruption must prove their capacity for fairness, justice and strict adherence to the rule of law.

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In his welcome address after lawmakers resumed from their 6-week recess, Honorable Yakubu Dogara commended Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Honorable Dogara, however, cautioned that while he supports government war on corruption, it must be carried out in a way that will not endanger the country’s democracy.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki was docked on September 22 at the Code of Conduct Tribunal after a short argument between the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and the defence counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), who was insisting that the day’s sitting was not for the taking pleas.

After Dr. Saraki took the dock, the 13-count charge was read to him and he pleaded not guilty.

The Senate President told the tribunal, in his opening remarks that he is a firm believer in the rule of law.

Dr Saraki had earlier given the assurance of his appearance after protracted arguments between his lawyers and the prosecution counsel over the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting over allegations of false asset declaration.

His spokesman, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, had said in a statement attributed his absence from the tribunal to the legal advice he received from his counsel, that it is not necessary for him to appear before the tribunal at this stage.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal had earlier ordered the arrest of the Senate President for failing to appear before the Tribunal to answer charges of alleged false declaration while he served as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2007.

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