Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, on Thursday, dismissed a motion filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to quash charges of false asset declaration against him.
The defence counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), had argued that the 13-count charges were invalid procedurally because the Code of Conduct Bureau, which filed the charges, failed to allow Mr. Saraki explain discrepancies in his assets declaration forms as required by law.
But in his ruling Thursday, Justice Umar said there was no breach of law as the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 1989, still allows the Senate president raise his clarifications at the level of the tribunal.
By law, Mr. Umar held that the CCB could receive complaints of breach of the Act and refer such complaints to the Tribunal, provided that it will allow the person involved to give a statement affirming or denying the said misconduct.
Also, upholding the argument made by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, the tribunal chair said Section 3 (e) of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution gives the bureau the right to receive complaints of such nature and where necessary refer such matter to the tribunal.
According to Justice Umar, Section 174 of the Constitution also gives the Attorney General of the Federation the prerogative to file criminal proceedings and does not owe any explanations to any one on how to go about it.
He, therefore, ordered that the trial proceed on April 5.