Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki finally appeared before the the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, after the matter had received a lot of public scrutiny due to attempts to use a Federal High Court order to stop his appearance before the special tribunal.
The case was adjourned to October 21, 2015 for further hearing.
Speaking through a five paragraph statement issued by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu on Tuesday evening, the Senate President said he believes he is being tried at the CCT simply because he emerged as senate president.
“I reiterate my belief that the only reason why I am going through this trial is because I am Senate President. If I were to be just a Senator, I doubt if anybody will be interested in the asset declaration form I filled over twelve years ago,” part of the statement read.
Saraki also revealed that his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal did not follow due process while quoting Section 3 (d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
“This belief stems from the fact that Section 3 (d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act provides that if there is a breach or non-compliance with any section of the law, the person involved should be given the opportunity to either admit or deny and that in the case of a written admission, no reference to the tribunal shall be necessary,” he said.
“So, if the CCB had followed the guidelines, procedure or the due process provided in its own law, we won’t be having this trial.
“It is my humble opinion that this case is a vivid example that there is still flagrant disregard for due process in our polity. This trial is not only being observed by Nigerians alone, the international community is watching because Nigeria is a key member of this community. So, the executive, legislature and judiciary should do the right thing that will truly demonstrate that we have imbibed the spirit of positive change,” he said.
Saraki also seized the opportunity to thank his colleagues for their support while praising his counsels.
“It is however necessary for me to thank my colleagues in the Senate for the solid support and solidarity they demonstrated for me. I also thank my counsel for the brilliance they have shown in presenting our case and the supporters who were present in the tribunal in their hundreds. I want to assure you that I am innocent of all the charges and will clear my name in due course,” he said.