Court summons CCB to defend Saraki’s trial



A MOVE by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to prevent his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets suffered a setback yesterday as the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, refused his exparte application.  

The court, instead, ordered Saraki to put the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which proffered the 13-count charge against him on notice to appear before it on September 21, 2015 to show cause why it should not be restrained from arraigning the embattled Senate president over the said charge. 

The Guardian had exclusively reported that Saraki would yesterday, approach the Federal High Court seeking an interim injunction order to frustrate his trial at the tribunal.

The Senate President is being accused of false and improper declaration of assets allegedly acquired during his tenure as governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.

Saraki, who approached the court via an exparte motion, wants the Federal Ministry of Justice, Code of Conduct Bureau and the tribunal as well as Barrister M. S Hassan stopped from taking any further step to arraign or prefer any charge against him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit he filed before the court.

He is praying the court to declare that the Ministry of Justice has not complied with the provision of the 3rd Schedule of Section 24(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and the tribunal’s Act to act before proffering a charge against him.

Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, in a ruling in his chambers, ordered the Federal Ministry of Justice, chairmen of the Code of Conduct Bureau and the tribunal and M. S. Hassan (1st to 4th respondents) to appear before him on Monday to show cause why they should not be stopped from arraigning Saraki.

The judge ordered that the respondents in the motion should be served with all the court processes, including the motion on notice for the interim order or injunction, adding that hearing notice should also be served on all the respondents.

The order, the judge said, was made pursuant to the provision or Order 26 Rule 10 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009.

In the motion exparte argued by Mahmud Magaji (SAN), Saraki said based on the provision of Section 24 of the CCB and the tribunal’s Act, his prosecution before the tribunal shall be initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) or any officer directed by him (AGF).

He argued further that “in the absence of any subsisting AGF in the time being, this court has the jurisdiction to direct parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice.”

According to Saraki, since there is no subsisting AGF, the charge against him by the official of the Federal Ministry of Justice before the CCT is void as the provisions of Section 24 (1) of the CCB and the Tribunal Act were not complied with.

The Senate President ought to be arraigned today before the tribunal to face the charges preferred against him.

Meanwhile, some senators have openly thrown their weight behind the Senate President, calling on the Presidency to focus on governance and not politically motivated trials of perceived enemies.

The tribunal had on the strength of a 13-count charge raised against Saraki by the CCB, summoned him to appear before it today for trial. But in separate reactions to Saraki’s trial, senators across party lines yesterday condemned the move and described it as distractive and uncalled for.

They vowed that trial or no trial, a majority of the senators will continue to support the leadership of Saraki. First to react in an interview with journalists was Senator Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi ( APC, Niger North), who said all the allegations raised against Saraki by CCB are politically motivated but will not in anyway derail the Eighth Senate from its focus on bringing about change in the positive sense, to Nigerians across the various sectors.

He said: “ I want to believe an allegation remains an allegation; and our laws are very clear. It is an allegation until it is proven; I want to believe it remains an allegation. However, let’s take a closer look at what the allegations are, dating back to 2003 to date, I think, as far as I am concerned there is something fishing about it. It is very obvious, of course we know what has happened since the inauguration of the 8th Senate.

“We will stand by our leaders because leadership is from God and as far as I am concerned, I didn’t come here because I am the best; it is just the will of God that we will be here. And based on the fact that we are here, we shall try as much as possible to deliver very good legislations that will move this country forward. Nigeria is great, and we want to make it greater. And I assure you, we will definitely not be distracted. The entire Senate is behind our leadership”.

Also condemning the planned trial of Saraki in another interview with journalists was Senator Hussain Salihu (APC, Nasarawa South), who said those trying Saraki for one thing or the other that had happened in the past were doing so because he is now the Senate President. He said those behind Saraki’s ordeals will get tired of the trials as, according to him, senators, and by extension, the Senate will not abandon him as their duly elected leader.

Similarly, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North), said as far as majority of senators are concerned, Saraki has led the Senate creditably well in the last 100 days and will continue to give him their total support , irrespective of any distractions from any quarters.

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim alleged that the battle against Saraki was being co-ordinated by forces outside government to distract Buhari’s administration.

“It is being expected and we are even expecting more, because of the continued attempt by some people to continue to destabilise the 8th Senate for the reason that they believe they have the prerogative to choose the leadership of the Senate from outside the Senate.

“But Nigerians are watching. They know that we have continued to do our work. We are in support of all the programmes and policies of President Muhammadu Buhari; we have nothing against the government,” he said.

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  • KennBest

    Sarathief suddenly started thinking he’s invicible. The biggest mistake he made was to have started a dance when the gods left the dancing floor. You’re a nobody in Nigeria, but just an opportunity kid and a bloody civilian. You stripped Nigerians naked to your own perils. A new sheriff is in town and he’s not like the old sheriff who didn’t see your corrupt mind as stealing.

    You go vomit everything wey you thief for public.

    • George Benson

      @KennBest, we are finished in this country when people like you are supporting this dictatorship called governance. with suit and clean hair style one would think you are sound thinking. But nay. what happened to your thinking cap?

      • KennBest

        Have u noticed I have a face and a name? Do the same with your profile and then come back for some education. The unchecked looting of your clan is over. Continue to call the new sheriff in town any name you like, it won’t stop him from recovering some of our stolen monies. Have you wondered why Gods will Akpabio is not back from London medical treatment yet? Like OBJ would always say of criminal sponsor Atiku; “I dey laugh o”. Buckle down George, its gonna be a bumpy ride.

  • Dr Sam Omale

    Here we
    go again. The same familiar route taken by thieves, criminals and looters of
    our economy. They are charged with crimes, and they go to another court to buy
    protection. Gullible judges who have no business being on the bench are enticed
    with huge sums of stolen money will go all the way to bend the rules.
    They will use some illiterate ‘technical’ jargon that exit only in the
    Nigerian law books and will throw out this case. We know where this taking
    us to. Don’t we? They will grant the desires of their thieving
    clients. Let the people arise against this kind of kangaroo courts. Let the
    people demand for the return of their looted resources. If we wait for these clowns
    sorry courts ( in Nigeria ) nothing will come out. Shameless thieves. A thieve
    is a thief and should not be protected or respected. Certainly a
    thief should never be allowed into public office. We are being mocked, laughed
    at and ridiculed by the international community. And this smear is rubbing on
    all of us..

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  • Romanus Ezeoke

    New sheriff is in town, let the fire works begin. Time for cash and carry court and judgments in Nigeria is over. Nigerians should rise up against all these corrupt and inept judges that use these obnoxious technicalities to prevent trials and convictions of these looters impossible. For anti corruption to work, Nigerian judiciary system must be sanitized .

  • Nwade Chudi

    How about Jagaban, is he clean?. He was charged to CCB tribunal but he bribed his way out. The battle in the APC seems not be coming to an end. The ACN is locked in a do or die battle for the control of the party , in order to position themselves for the next Presidential election in 2019. Nigeria is in a very serious problem because the party is total is in disarray. PMB is befret of fresh ideas and use junketing as a means to be running from the hard work. The lies of APC is known a now and wide – mouthed people like Joe Igbokwe is looking for whom to shift their lack of structured focus to. Today , PDP is distracting PMB , tomorrow, PDP did not leave any money. But is distracting the Senate President by bring in the CCB. EFCC and Power probe has now necessited the CCB to woke up after sixteen years. Obasanjo must answer how he stole our money through power contracts.

  • Iheonunekwu Joseph Nwabueze

    They said they are investigating only Jonathan administration . Now they are investigating 2003, when Jonathan was not even in Abuja. They left Obasanjo, and other past rulers. They want to remove Saraki, keep him in detention roll in bad ministerial list, confirm them, release Saraki on bail and the case will last for 10-years. They forgot that saraki has his own people plus PDP senators. They tried with Saraki wife and failed. All the governors that serve in 2003 including Tinube must publish the code of conduct declaration for verification in National Newspapers for al to see APC selective worst brutal dictatorial democracy. APC will say because senate leadership is in crisis we cannot present ministers now. APC APC APC bad and worst enough. I have not see such a worst govt. in history of Nigeria. All the PDP decampees from Amaechi, Ngige, Okoroch and others are all crying and crying. Jonathan was democratic, they abused him. Now let they live with a brute dictatorship. This is change. This is our choice.

    • KennBest

      You lack common sense with your beer parlour argument. Tell your uncle Godswill Akpabio not to cone back o. He’s next to be picked up. Nigerians are behind this new sheriff in town. His name is Buhari.

  • Ikorodua

    Turn it left,right and center, PMB ‘s ‘FROBE’ will result to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, if OBJ, the GODFATHER OF CORRUPTION in nigeria is not incarcerated for looting the treasury dry as the president and CHIEF THIEF. PMB should understand this basic fact. Hiding or giving OBJ official cover is effort in futility. Nigerians are aware that Saraki’s problem in the senate is PMB’s behind the scene effort to protect OBJ. What is PMB afraid of. OBJ is worse than IBB, Abacha, or any other past presidents. So, there will not be interpolation/extrapolation or domino effect.