By Doyin Odebowale
I will not pretend that I am not happy that that son of a thief is being prepared for ultimate political disappearance. What I find rather disturbing is the barely disguised attempt by certain persons to drag the federal government into it.
Talking law from my little understanding, I know that the Code of Conduct Tribunal shares and coordinate jurisdiction with High Courts of the states and federal capital territory as well as the Federal High Court. The purported ruling of the Federal High Court restraining the CCB from discharging its administrative and investigative functions will appear misplaced. What law did that black market judge depend on when he was granting that Oluwole injunction?
The second platform upon which my intervention is predicated concerns the status of the CCB. This tribunal lacks prosecutorial powers. It can only recommend. Any aggrieved person can approach the Court of Appeal to quash its recommendations.
The tribunal can only recommend that the public office holder found guilty vacate his office, that the proceeds of the crime i.e., undeclared assets and other indices of anticipatory looting are forfeited to the Federal a Government and that this officer may be barred from holding any public office for a period not exceeding ten years.
The questions to ask Saraki’s attorneys, both on Facebook and the courtroom, are simple. Did he declare that his wife and children owned that much? Did he claim to have owned properties which were not his in 2003? Did he contravene the Act by operating foreign accounts? Did he participate actively in businesses even as an Executive Governor?
These are the posers before the Tribunal. The submission that the CCB cannot ask a public officer or a former one at that, as it was in the celebrated case of Tinubu, to account for deliberate falsehood documented unless an Attorney General is in office also amounts to sterile sophistry which cannot withstand keen forensic scrutiny.
The Attorney General need not be in office for the ministry of justice to function in the first instance. The CCB only functions in administrative and quasi-judicial capacity. The findings of the tribunal will definitely need the fiat of that office before Saraki or other criminal can be prosecuted. No court can stop the CCB from conducting its affairs as enshrined in the law establishing it. The law is trite.
May we then ask this son of a thief whether he is above the law? Is he too big to appear before the CCB as the son of Oloye awon ole? Can he choose the forum he feels comfortable with to attend at his whims? He could go to the Federal High Court but considered appearing before that tribunal as infra dignitate. He could ask Yusuf Olaniyonu, his media aide, to issue a press statement on his perceived political persecution but no such release came to explain his role in the forgery scandal. If he feels that a fundamental technical error has been committed in the process of his arraignment, it is on Facebook that he will defend himself.
Let me round off by saying that I do not wish Saraki and members of his family well. I expect them to experience harrowing pains, worse than those they put the unfortunate depositors of the defunct Societe Generale Bank to. I will not be objective in his matter until he is destroyed as his family ruined the businesses of these hapless Nigerians. It is only in this clime that a criminal like this felon will seat as the Chief Law Maker and some bastards will liken the tragic travesty to a Ludo and Chess game.
Saraki will not end well.
Dr. Doyin Odebowale is a lecturer with the Department of Classics, University of Ibadan and legal practitioner.
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