The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said the Code of Conduct Bureau defaulted in law by not giving him a chance to defend himself first at the bureau, before it went ahead to file charges against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“As it stands, Nigerians must ask why this fundamental and indispensable condition for a trial at the CCT has not been followed,” said Mr. Saraki through a statement released on Friday morning by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Gbenga Makanjuola.
Mr.Saraki’s trial over false declarations of assets resumes Friday at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.
“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 said his trial was “borne from political mischief and malice associated with the timeliness and nature of this suit,” but that he was however ready to submit himself to the law.