Appeal court dismisses Saraki’s appeal against CCT

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday dismissed the appeal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging his trial on 13 counts of false assets declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

By a two-to-one split decision the three-man panel of the appeal court, held that the appeal lacked merit.

Justice Moore Adumein who led the panel and Justice Mohammed Mustapha  dismissed the appeal, while Justice Joseph Ekanem in his dissenting judgement‎ ‎ upheld the appeal and discharged the Senate President of the trial before the CCT.

‎The majority judgment dismissed all the six grounds of appeal by Saraki.

It dismissed the grounds that the charges were not properly served on him, that the tribunal was not duly constituted because it is comprised of two members instead of three and that absence of the Attorney-General of the Federation had rendered the charges incompetent.

Justice‎ Ekanem ruled that the the irregularities in the filing of the charges due to the failure of a lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. M.S Hassan, to indicate in his letter to the tribunal who authorised him to file the charges had rendered the charges incompetent.

But Justice Adumein 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 err in law to commence trial against Dr. Saraki with a two-man panel.

Senator Saraki had challenged the legal propriety of the 13-count charge that was preferred against him by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The appellate court had earlier adjourned its verdict on the matter indefinitely, a situation that forced the Justice Danladi Umar-led Tribunal to defer hearing on the case against Dr. Saraki Till November 5, to await the outcome of the appeal.

The Tribunal took the decision to suspend full-blown hearing on the criminal case after the Justice Adumein panel of the Appeal Court, on October 21, postponed its judgement without adducing any reason.

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