The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, on Monday said the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for false assets declaration need not affect proceedings in the Senate, insisting that the personality of the defendant was different from the Senate as institution.
Umar said it would be erroneous for people to conclude that the tribunal’s decision to henceforth, conduct trial on day-to-day basis would cripple the Senate.
“The person, who happens to be the Senate President, is the one on trial. Others should go ahead with the business of the house. We are not trying the Senate. Members of the Senate have statutory responsibilities which they must carry out. They should go ahead. We will also go ahead with our work. The Senate can carry on with the business of the Senate,” he said.
Umar’s position was informed by complaint by lead lawyer to Saraki, Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the tribunal’s decision to sit on the case every day would cripple the upper legislative chamber.
Also, lead prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), expressed regret that Senators at the proceeding murmured when the tribunal announced its decision to conduct day-to-day proceedings.
He said it was a shame that the Senate, an institution funded with state could decide to personalise its activities by electing to close shop because an individual is on trial.
“It is a disgrace to our nation to say that the Senate will be crippled because an individual is on trial. The Senate is not on trial here. The senators have no business being here. They should face their business, for which they earn such huge allowances. We should not personalise public offices,” Jacobs said.
Source: The Nation