Skip to main content

Senate President Saraki Dismisses His Corruption Trial At CCT As “Persecution”

Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki today told the audience at the Social Media Week Lagos that the Code of Conduct Tribunal trial he faces for massive acts of corruption is simply “persecution”.

Mr. Saraki made the comment in response to a question by a SaharaReporters correspondent who is attending the event.

He refused to identify what he is being persecuted for, or who is persecuting him, but he seemed to be calling the current government’s war into corruption into question.

The Senate President, whose trial resumes in two weeks, faces 13 counts of corruption and false declaration of assets.

“I do not see this as a fight against corruption,” he said, “I see there more as persecution.”

He told his listeners that the first thing a public servant does is complete the asset declaration form, and that in view of the Code of Conduct Bureau having his declaration forms in question in 2003 and 2007 [when he took office as governor of Kwara State], no law was violated.

The moderator of the forum, lawyer and television host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, then pressed Mr. Saraki concerning his point about being persecuted, to disclose who is victimizing him.

Mr. Saraki demurred, saying the occasion was not the platform to discuss such matters.  “Let’s keep the platform [to discussing] social media,” he pleaded.

It is unclear why the Senate President is only now seeking to challenge the validity of the charges against him and argue his case.  Since he was first dragged before the CCB, his efforts have been to avoid the court rather than confront the trial, an approach that saw him wind up first in the Court of Appeal, and then at the Supreme Court. 

In October 2015, the Court of Appeal ruled against his attempts to quash the charges, affirming that the CCT is a court of criminal jurisdiction, albeit limited jurisdiction.

"There is no inherent difference between a court and a tribunal,” it said.  “The only difference is that tribunals in most cases handle special cases".

In November, Saraki then took his appeal to the Supreme Court, which also ruled against him a few days ago, saying he must face trial.