18th March, 2016
Ayorinde Oluokun/ Abuja
Chief Kanu Agabi, Lead lawyer for Senate President, Bukola Saraki demands his client’s discharge and acquittal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the way it was done for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, five years ago.
Agabi told the CCT panel that the Code of Conduct Bureau case was flawed as Saraki was not invited, when it had an issue over his asset declaration.
Agabi said his team is not raising any of the issue that has been determined by the Supreme Court.
He said the issue being raised in the fresh application is that failure of the CCB to act 13 years after the defendant filed his forms is fatal to its case.
”If for any reason, the defendant has committed any offence he should be informed. The defendant has not been given any opportunity to defend himself against the charges. The AGF has no jurisdiction to prefer the charges and therefore the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear it.
“Under our constitution, the moment a man comes under justifiable suspicion, he must be informed promptly of the reasons for the suspicion”, said Agabi.
He said failure to inform Saraki was against the principle of fair trial. He said failure of duty on the part of the CCB for 13 years operates to the peril of the Bureau.
He said there is no document to indicate that any member of public has complained or that the CCB has conducted any research to implicate the the defendant.
He however agreed that there are aspects of the charges against Saraki that can be prosecuted elsewhere.
“The result of the investigation by Bureau is expected to be presented to Your Lordship, where is it?” Where is the reference? We don’t have it, you can struck it out and let them start afresh.
“He has not been invited, he should be invited like Tinubu. He is the Senate President of this country. He has not been invited, it is not discriminatory. My Lord, the reason you said you allow Tinubu to go home was that ten other governors were invited, but he was not invited, the defendant is a former governor. ”
He then asked the Chairman of the Tribunal to strike out the charges.