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Friday, 15 April 2016

CCT Trial: 5 Punishments Saraki Will Face If Found Guilty - Politics

Senate president, Bukola Saraki is facing the biggest challenge of his political life.

Having served as a two-term governor of Kwara state, chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, second-term senator and currently Nigeria’s number three citizen, these are indeed dire times for the scion of the Saraki dynasty.

When the  chairman of the Code Of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, issued an arrest warrant for Saraki for false declaration of assets, it was the first time in Nigerian history that a sitting senate president will be so humiliated.

The Senate president is now a regular face at the tribunal

The 53-year old was accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor of Kwara state, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and also accused of operating foreign accounts even as a state executive.

 The Senate president has since denied the allegations. He went ahead to say that he declared his assets in 2007, 2011, and recently in 2015, and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) never wrote to complain of any inconsistencies. lists five punishments that will be melted out to Saraki as listed out by the CCB, if he is found guilty in the ongoing trial.

Read below:

1. Removal from office

2. Vacation of official seat in the legislature, as the case may be

3. Imposition of fine

4. Disqualification from membership of the legislature and from holding of any public office for a period not exceeding 10 years

5. Seizure and forfeiture of the state of any property (ies) acquired in abuse or corruption of office

The tribunal however posits that these punishments shall be without prejudice to the penalties that may be imposed by any law where the conduct in view is also a criminal offence.

Also, the law gives right of appeal, but sub-section 7 of the constitution states that the prerogative of mercy shall not apply to any punishment imposed by the CCT.

It is important to note that the punishments which the CCT imposed are not limited to those stated above.

The constitution gives the National Assembly the power to prescribe more punishments and to give the CCB more power as it deems fit.
Meanwhile, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ibn Na’Allah has described the trial of Saraki at the CCT as a persecution rather than a prosecution.

Like many supporters of the Senate president, Na’Allah says the trial was influenced by Saraki’s elevation as Nigeria’s number three citizen.

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