.Explains Why Code Of Conduct Tribunal Is After Him –
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to arrest the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Arase is expected to be joined by other relevant security agencies in the country in this task.
The tribunal headed by Justice Danladi Umar issued the order of arrest following Saraki’s refusal to honour an invitation to appear in court.
He is facing a 13-count criminal charge by the Federal Ministry of Justice for his alleged refusal to declare some of his assets which he acquired while he was governor of Kwara State.
Though he was supposed to appear in court on Friday, Saraki sent a team of lawyers, who served the tribunal with a copy of the ruling of Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court summoning the Ministry of Justice to appear on Monday to show reasons the trial should be allowed to proceed.
Saraki had secured the ruling on Thursday ahead of his supposed appearance on Friday.
The court ruling secured by Saraki also summoned the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, the chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Mr. Sam Saba, and Mr. Hassan who signed the charge against Saraki.
On Friday, Mr. M.S. Hassan, a Deputy Director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, who represented the Federal Government, asked the tribunal to order Saraki’s arrest for refusing to appear to face the charges against him.
Hassan told the tribunal that Saraki cannot sit in the comfort of his chamber and object to his trial in absentia, adding that Justice Mohammed lacked the powers to summon the CCT and CCB chairmen.
He further accused Saraki of engaging in ‘forum shopping’ in a desperate bid to scuttle his trial.
In an appeal however, Saraki, through his lawyers urged the court to rescind the ruling on his arrest owing to the fact that he is the Senate President.
He begged the court that he would make himself available on Monday, a plea which was refused by Justice Umar.
The justice said Saraki had shown disrespect to the tribunal, having sworn to protect the constitution.
Meanwhile, Bukola Saraki, on Friday described the Code of Conduct Tribunal as a government institution being used to fight perceived political enemies.
Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu to Saraki, in a statement later Friday evening, titled: ‘CCT Defiance of Subsisting Court Order : Our Stand’, defended the Senate President’s absence at the tribunal.
He also said the refusal of the tribunal to honour a previous court ruling on the issue had more to the issues against the Senate President, who he believes, has the right to protect himself.