Prosecution Witness 1, in the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s (CCT) trial against the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today admitted that Dr. Saraki was not interrogated by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in-line with the procedures established by the laws that institute the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal.Answering questions on cross-examination by Saraki’s counsel,Paul Usoro (SAN), Michael Wetkas, the first witness, who is also an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, maintained that the Senate President was never given an opportunity to confirm nor deny the allegations against him by the CCB, because it was the EFCC that had conducted the investigations relating to the claims, not the CCB.
This revelation, raises new contentions, as the precedent clause in Section 3D of the of the CCT Act, clearly states that all cases at the CCT are dependent on the fact that “the person concerned makes a written admission of such breach or noncompliance, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary.”
Many will recall that the Senate President stated at the commencement of the CCT proceedings that his fundamental rights based on the precedent clause of the CCT Act were abused.
In 2011, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had his case dismissed, as the tribunal had also failed to allow him to confirm or deny the allegations brought against him by the CCB.
However, when Saraki’s lawyers filed a similar motion, Justice Umar, who gave the ruling in Tinubu’s case, stated that he had made the ruling in Tinubu’s case in error.
Meanwhile, the CCT boss has also ordered that all other cases at the CCT be stood down till further notice, as Saraki’s trial must proceed day to day until the end of the proceedings.
This ruling has raised eyebrows, as the tribunal currently has other cases to adjudicate, making many observers to ask if there is truly a timeline - as some say - to convict the Senate President using the CCT.