Asset declaration: Court summons CCB, CCT chairmen over Saraki’s arraignment

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday summoned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to appear before it on Monday to show cause why it should not be restrained from arraigning Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over allegations bordering on false and improper declaration of assets allegedly acquired during his tenure as governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.
Saraki, who approached the court via an exparte motion wants the Federal Ministry of Justice, Code of Conduct Bureau and the Tribunal and Barrister M. S Hassan stopped from taking any further step to arraign or prefer any charge against him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit he filed before the court.
The Senate President is praying the court to declare that the Ministry of Justice has not complied with the provision of the 3rd Schedule of Section 24(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act to act before proffering a charge against him.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, in a ruling in his chambers, ordered the Federal Ministry of Justice, chairmen of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal and M. S Hassan (1st to 4th respondent) to appear before him on Monday to show cause why the should not be stopped from arraigning Saraki.
The Judge ordered that the respondents in the motion should be served with all the court processes, including the motion of notice for the interim order or injunction, motion exparte, adding also that hearing notice should be served on all the respondents.
The order, the Judge held, was made pursuant to the provision or Order 26 Rule 10 of the Federal High Court (Civil procedure) Rules 2009.
In the motion exparte argued by Mahmud Magaji (SAN), Saraki said based on the provision of Section 24 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, his prosecution before the tribunal shall be initiated by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) or any officer directed by him (AGF).
He argued: “In the absence of any subsisting AGF in the time being, this court has the jurisdiction to direct parties to maintain status quo, pending the hearing of the motion on notice”.
He argued further that since there is no subsisting AGF, the charge against him by the official of the Federal Ministry of Justice before the CCT is void as the provisions of section 24 (1) of the CCB and Tribunal was not complied with.
It would be recalled that the Senate President was to be arraigned on Thursday before the Code of Conduct Tribunal to face a 13-count charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.

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