President of the Senate, Dr. Olusola Saraki, has sought the intervention of the Court of Appeal regarding his on-going trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false assets declaration. This was confirmed by Daily Times on Sunday. Indications that Saraki might have approached the Court of Appeal were rife on social media over the weekend, with some online publications stating that the court, late last Friday, issued a hearing notice for today.
Saraki himself had over the weekend in an open letter to journalist/politician, Dele Momodu, indicated that he might still seek the intervention of a higher court regarding his trial before the CCT, when he wrote “judiciary does not end with this Tribunal.” In the open letter, Saraki said: “Some people have wondered, why has Saraki been “jumping” from one court to another instead of facing his trial?
To those people, I would say that I have only gone to those courts in search of justice. Strange things have happened, and they are still happening. “For example, Section 3(d) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act states that the Bureau shall refer any breach or non-compliance to the Tribunal.
“However, where the person concerned makes a written admission of the breach, no reference to the Tribunal shall be necessary. It was on this basis that the case against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was dismissed in 2011, by this same judge in this same Tribunal on the grounds that he was not given an opportunity to deny or admit to any breach before he was brought before the tribunal.
This was the ruling that I relied on in making my case. “But what did the judge say? That he had judged in error in 2011 and he had since realized his error and departed from it. My question is whether a Tribunal of first instance has the power to reverse itself. I should expect that everyone would be worried if justice is applied differently to different people. “However, in spite of my fears, I remain hopeful. Why? Because the judiciary does not end with this Tribunal.”