Embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial will commence officially before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja after the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal; Justice Danlami Umar struck out an application by his counsel challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Saraki through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi had filed a motion seeking to quash corruption charges relating to false declaration of assets preferred against him. Mr. Agabi in challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal repackaged some of the issues the Supreme Court had already decided upon.
The defense counsel argued that the failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to invite Saraki to confront him with the breaches and noncompliance in his assets declaration forms had affected the validity of the charges and thereby faulted the action of the Bureau in approaching the tribunal.
The motion which was strongly opposed by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs was described as unfounded, frivolous, absurd and a clear case of abuse of court process, Mr. Jacobs, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the motion.
While throwing out the application in his ruling the Chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar said that the case is within the purview of the tribunal to hear and, therefore, declared that the tribunal was ready to go on with the trial.
Saraki was accompanied to the tribunal today by 80 lawyers with 10 Senior Advocate of Nigeria defending him at the trial.
The tribunal judge stated in his ruling that the case will be heard on its merit starting from April 5th 2015.