Why Appeal Court dismissed Saraki’s application to stop trial

Bukola Saraki
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday dismissed an application by Senate President Bukola Saraki challenging the jurisdiction the Code of Conduct Tribunal to entertain his trial.

The appeal court said its ruling was because Mr. Saraki’s trial at the tribunal, CCT, followed due process.

A five-member panel of judges led by Abdul Aboki therefore dismissed the application for lacking in merit.

The court said Mr. Saraki’s application that his trial at the CCT would not be in the interest of the public was based on sentiments.

“The charge against the appellant is according to due process; and whether it is in the interest of the public, the appellant’s submission is held with sentiments,” said Mr. Aboki.

“It will be a circumvention of justice if the court is carried away by sentiments.

“The appeal is unmeritorious, appellant’s appeal is therefore dismissed and judgement of the CCT judge Danladi Umar of March 28 is upheld and affirmed,” the court said.

The appeal court, however noted that Mr. Saraki remains innocent, until he is proven guilty by a court of law.

Mr. Saraki approached the appellate court after his appeal, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him, was dismissed by the CCT in April.

He has made various applications challenging his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal since he was first charged in September, 2015.

Mr. Saraki is facing 16-count charge for alleged false declaration of asset to the Code of Conduct Bureau, while governor.

He has denied all the accusations.

The trial at the code of conduct is still on despite what seems to be a political solution to Mr. Saraki’s differences with the executive arm of government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President
Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President
Recently, the Attorney General of the Federation withdrew forgery charges against Mr. Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu. Both men and two civil servants had been charged with allegedly forging the house rules with which Messrs. Saraki and Ekweremadu were controversially elected leaders of Nigeria’s senate last year.

The withdrawal of the charges was commended by several leaders of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress including former vice president Atiku Abubakar and ex-Lagos governor Bola Tinubu.

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