Asset: Saraki’s trial starts today at CCT

The trial of Senate President, Dr Bukola Abubakar Saraki, over alleged false declaration of assets will commence today before the Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal ( CCT ), Danladi Yakubu Umar.
Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara State, filed as required by law, four assets declaration forms and submitted same to the Code of Conduct Bureau ( CCB ).

Following investigation, it was alleged that Saraki acquired many properties while in office as governor of Kwara State but failed to declare them in the CAB forms earlier filed and submitted to the relevant authorities.

It was also alleged that Saraki made anticipatory declaration of assets upon his assumption of office as governor of Kwara State.
It was further alleged that Saraki sent money abroad for the purchase of properties in London and that he maintained accounts outside Nigeria while serving as governor between 2003 and May 2011.

Based on these alleged violations of the Code of Conduct for public officers, the CCB initiated a criminal proceeding against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal ( CCT ).

However, Saraki who pleaded not guilty, has challenged the competence of the tribunal to try him, saying the case was not initiated by due process of law.
In a motion filed by Magaji Mahmud (SAN) on his behalf, the tribunal was informed of a provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act that before any matter will be referred to the CCT, the accused person must be given the opportunity of admitting the said breach or non-compliance. The implication of this, according to Magaji, is that certain conditions must be certified before a charge is preferred by the complainant against the accused person.


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