by Dolapo Adelana
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Tuesday gave reasons why it did not invite Senate President Bukola Saraki to explain discrepancies in his asset declaration form before charging him to court, The Nation reports.
A senior official of the CCB, Samuel Madojemu, told the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), said Ssraki’s trial was different from that of a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe who was invited by the Bureau.
Madojemu said this during cross-examination by Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, at the resumption hearing of Saraki’s trial for false assets declaration on Tuesday.
Agabi asked him if it was not remarkable that Saraki was never invited to make a written statement before charges were filed against him.
Responding to Agabi’s question, he said, “Your lordship, I have handled many cases. And among the many cases, there were instances that we invited the subjects and they refused to honour our invitation.
“During the trial of Godsday Orubebe we said that he was invited severally and he refused to honour the invitations. We thereafter charged him and he was convicted.
“I will refer you back to what I said earlier which was that it was beyond my competence to decide who to invite and who not to invite.”
Madojemu also stated that nothing mandated the CCB to invite a declarant before filing charges against him or her.
He added, “When there is observed infraction of this magnitude, the Bureau reserves the right whether or not to invite the declarant.”
When asked why Orubebe was invited and Saraki was not invited by the CCB, the witness said, “Your lordship, the decision to invite and not to invite is beyond my capacity and competence. It is a decision made by the management of the Bureau.”
Madojemu explained that the CCB did not obtain a statement from Saraki, saying, “the asset declaration of asset which is made on oath serves as the statement.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.