***Gives Kudos to Supreme Court over Verdict***
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, on Saturday asked the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to resign his position in order to preserve the integrity of the National Assembly.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in an interview with our correspondent, said the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court would add value to the battle against corruption.
Citing an instance involving a former Senate President, the late Chuba Okadigbo, Falana asked Saraki to resign having undertaken to prove his innocence before the CCT.
He said, “Having undertaken to prove his innocence at the Code of Conduct Trubunal Senator Saraki should resign as senate president so as to preserve the integrity of the National Assembly.
“When Senators Chuba Okadigbo and Adolphus Wabara were indicted they were made to step down as senate presidents.”
This comes amid indications that senators opposed to the Senate President under the aegis of the Senate Unity Forum, had regrouped to force Saraki out of the seat.
The Supreme Court had on Friday dismissed the appeal by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging the validity of his trial on charges of assets declaration preferred against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
A seven-man panel of the apex court presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, unanimously ruled that Saraki’s appeal against the jurisdiction of the trial and competence of the charges lacked merit.
Justice Wallter Onnoghen, who read the lead judgment, held that contrary to Saraki’s contention, the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal was validly constituted by two members.
Justice Onnoghen also held that the tribunal was by the provisions of its enabling laws and the Constitution conferred with the quasi-criminal jurisdiction and thus could validly issue bench warrant.
He thus held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 was applicable to the proceedings of the tribunal.
Saraki, who said the Supreme Court judgment was disappointing, however, said he would have his day in court and that “at the end of the day, truth will prevail and justice will be served.”
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