By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson
Ahead of the CCT trial billed for today, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said that in spite of the trial being illegitimate as a result of discrepancies observed, he is a firm believer in rule of law, and would totally submit himself to the due process of the law.
In a statement signed by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola this Friday morning, Saraki said that he was confident that he will prove his case and would come out innocent of the charges.
“This is founded upon the premise that ‘justice must not only be done, but justice must also be seen to have been done’. Dr. Saraki and his team of lawyers have earlier submitted an application to quash the illegitimate suit being brought against him before the CCT based on several alleged discrepancies found in his asset declaration form,” it noted.
Our correspondent gathered from the statement that Saraki’s team will be guided by the fact that a basic scrutiny of Section 3, Paragraph D of the Act that establishes the CCT and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) state in explicit terms that before any complaint (if any) is forwarded to the CCT for adjudication, the public officer against whom a complaint is made must be given the opportunity to either deny or admit the claims by the Bureau.
As it stands, Nigerians must ask why this fundamental and indispensable condition for a trial at the CCT has not been followed.
“What this means is: the condition precedent mandates that Dr. Saraki – as every other citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is entitled to – should have been given the opportunity to explain any perceived inaccuracy, but he was never given the opportunity to do so.
“Secondly and more crucially, the application submitted by the Senate President draws attention to the fact that the 13-year-old declaration forms on which the majority of the impending suit is predicated, were examined and investigated by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) at the time of submission and were found satisfactory to the Bureau’s requirements at the time,” it added.
Given that for 13 years, all the documents from the Senate President’s asset declarations from 2003, 2007 and 2011 were accessible by the Bureau for investigation, Saraki’s application states that the condition precedence should have been drawn to it; to give the Senate President the opportunity to explain and address any identified issues.
The Senate President has expressed indignation that these confirmed forms which have rested in possession of the CCB for over a decade without issue are now being flagged.
In this regard, as the trial begins, Nigerians should note that this outright non-observance of the rule of law, reaffirms the belief that this trial is borne from political mischief and malice associated with the timeliness and nature of this suit.
As the head of Nigeria’s legislative branch, Dr. Saraki is confident that justice will ultimately prevail and he is ready, willing and prepared to submit himself to all proceedings that adhere to the strict dictates of the law. He believes that the law must take its righteous course and reassures Nigerians of his commitment to serving the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CCT trial illegitimate – Saraki …announces attendance at trial
By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson