Reprieve came the way of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, today after the Code of Conduct Tribunal dismissed the corruption allegation against him for lack of diligent prosecution.
The Code of Conduct Bureau had in September arraigned Mr. Tinubu before the tribunal over allegation that he operated foreign accounts during his term in office between 1999 and 2007, contrary to Nigerian laws.
The court however ruled today that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. But before quashing the charges, the court dismissed the motion by the former governor’s legal team challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.
Mr. Tinubu’s camp, which has all along blamed his trial on political witch-hunting, erupted into spontaneous celebration moments after the judgment.
The Lagos State chapter of the former governor’s party, Action Congress of Nigeria, quickly issued a statement applauding the tribunal for resisting the temptation to be used to persecute a leader of the opposition.
“By that ruling, the tribunal has demonstrated that justice is still obtainable even in an atmosphere of petty politics and funny contrivances,” the party said in a statement by its spokesperson, Joe Igbokwe.
“We are gladdened that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has dispensed justice without fear or favour in this frivolous case, meant to slow down the desire to do away with the misrule of the PDP,” Mr. Igbokwe said. “We see this as a reinvigoration of that desire and state that nothing will stop our great party from its determination to replace the PDP, which has led the rapid degradation of governance in a well endowed country as Nigeria.”
He continued, “By dismissing this frivolous case, nurtured and cooked in the chambers of vindictive and petty politics, the Code of Conduct Tribunal has shown a desire not to be employed as a hatchet to prosecute the selfish partisan battles of the PDP, we are happy that the tribunal is showing that signal at a crucial stage of our national life when the nation longs for a fresh air from 13 years of unmitigated misrule. We salute the courage of the members of the tribunal and we state that by this ruling, the tribunal has shown the way on an impartial approach to issues.
“We congratulate the National Leader of our great party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his latest victory, which is just one out of the strings of victories that he has recorded against those that hold Nigeria by the jugular. We salute his raw courage and audacity to lead the time honoured quest to rescue Nigeria from the hands of rapacious political predators that want to keep Nigeria hostage till eternity. We want him to see this as just the beginning of the battle for the soul of Nigeria , as we pledge our unalloyed support to him.”