Dr. Bukola Saraki has not given up on his quest to turn the tide on the troubles he has been facing lately. And by that, I don’t mean that he has decided to just go to the Code of Conduct Tribunal and defend his innocence…although that would be the option left to him if all else fails. The Nigerian Senate President has appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which on October 30 confirmed that the of the Code of Conduct Tribunal has jurisdiction to try him on 13 counts of false assets declaration.
Senator Saraki also requested that the Supreme Court stops the proceedings of the Code of conduct Tribunal to try him for the alleged offences until his appeal is determined.
Dr Saraki urged the Supreme Court to overturn the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the entire proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the charges against him before the Tribunal. He is going the whole nine yards. He wants it all reversed. If only he could turn back the hands of time.
He claimed that the Appeal Court made a mistake when it decided that the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal was in order even though the CCT sat for his case with only two members as against the three provided for in the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution. That provision can be found in Paragraph 15 (1) of the Fifth Schedule.
The Senate President also faulted the majority decision of the Appeal Court where it says that there was a lacuna regarding the quorum of the Tribunal.
He argued that the decision to apply the Interpretation Act to justify that two out of three members of the Tribunal could validly sit “is to circumvent and reduce the number prescribed by the Constitution for the due composition of the Tribunal.
Remember that on October 30 the Court of Appeal had dismissed Saraki’s appeal against the ruling of the Tribunal by a two-to-one split decision
At the resumed hearing last Friday the court threw out all five issues raised by Senate President before it.
Two judges out of the three-man panel felt that the appeal lacked merit.
The third judge, however, upheld the appeal on the grounds that the Code of Conduct Tribunal was not a superior court and that the charges before it were not properly filed.
Justice Adumein, who led the panel of appeal court Judges, said the two-man panel of the Code of Conduct Tribunal was the minimum quorum required, according to the Interpretation Act, to sit in judgement on any issue.
He said the Tribunal did not do wrong in law to commence trial against Dr. Saraki with a two-man panel.