FEMI Falana, SAN and human rights activist, wants Bukola Saraki, Senate president, to resign from office in view of his trail before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Making the call on Saturday, February 6, Falana asked Saraki to resign his position in order to preserve the integrity of the National Assembly.
The human rights lawyer, who said that the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court would add value to the battle against corruption, cited instances when such allegations had forced the Senate presidents to resign. He said: “When Senators Chuba Okadigbo and Adolphus Wabara were indicted they were made to step down as senate presidents.”
The Supreme Court had on Friday, February 5, dismissed the appeal by Saraki, challenging the validity of his trial on charges of assets declaration preferred against him at the CCT.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Mahmud Mohammed, chief Justice of Nigeria, 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 CCT 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.”
That notwithstanding, the Senate is now divided over calls for the resignation of Saraki.
The Unity Forum, a caucus of All Progressives Congress, APC, which opposed the emergence of Saraki as the Senate president, seems to have rekindled their opposition, calling on Saraki to resign “before he is disgraced out.” It said that his resignation would save the image of the National Assembly and salvage national pride.
— Feb 8, 2016 @ 12:40 GMT