Senate President Bukola Saraki has arrived at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where his trial for alleged false declaration of assets continues. He arrived at 9:57am in company of at least 15 senators.
Saraki wore a flowing white “agbada”, and he sat gently in the second row of benches, which are reserved for senators, as usual. Some of the senators present are Sam Anyanwu, Dino Melaye, Tayo Alasoadura, and Andy Uba.
This is the seventh time the senate president will appear at the CCT. The first time was on September 22, 2015 after the tribunal had issued a bench warrant for his arrest. He was accompanied to the tribunal by at least 50 senators on that day.
On the same day, he was docked, but he pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of false declaration of assets brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The second time was on October 21, 2015 when he was accompanied by at least 81 senators to the tribunal.
And the third time was on November 5, 2015, when his lawyers – Joseph Daodu and Mahmud Magaji – withdrew from the case in protest of the decision of the tribunal to continue the matter despite an appeal against the constitution and jurisdiction of the tribunal at the supreme court.
The fourth time was on March 11, after the ruling of the supreme court upholding the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him while the fifth time was on March 18 when an application to stop his trial was heard. And The sixth time was on March 24 when the tribunal ruled that his trial must continue.
The senate president had gone the whole hog to challenge his trial at the CCT, but he failed at every turn. On February 5, the apex court dismissed the appeal to stop his trial, paving the way for the continuation of the case at the CCT.
The CCT had earlier fixed March 10 for trial, but it shifted to March 11 at the instance of Kanu Agabi (SAN), Saraki’s new lawyer.