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Halt CCT On Saraki Now Judicial Procedure And Process Faulty Lacks Merit .... - Politics - Nairaland

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Halt CCT On Saraki Now Judicial Procedure And Process Faulty Lacks Merit .... by SpeakforBS2016: 3:46am On May 23, 2016
What is Good For Tinubu is Not Good For Saraki ?

Buhari’s so-called war on corruption has many faces. On the surface it appears as if something is be­ing done about corruption, but on closer scrutiny, the mask is removed and the corruption war takes shape as a mere in­strument and propaganda tool used to haunt down political opponents and mislead a gul­lible public into believing cor­ruption is being tackled. So far, the ploy seems to have achieved some success as many Nigeri­ans who either do not under­stand what corruption in its totality actually encompass­es or who are just being the usual hypocrites ever so will­ing to apply double standards have wilfully bought the gov­ernments line. But therein lies the danger—for in the ploy of fighting corruption albeit with insincerity and double stand­ards, we end up entrenching more corruption, bastardis­ing what is left of state institu­tions and creating a tyrannical one party state where all forms of opposition are permanently silenced.

This is exactly what is play­ing out in the Saraki Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) tri­al. Sometime in March Saraki’s lead counsel Kanu Agabi had argued before the CCT that since the allegations levelled against Saraki was not differ­ent from that previously lev­elled against the national leader of APC Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in regards to declaration of assets, and since Tinubu was set free on the grounds that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) failed to fulfil the necessary condi­tions that would confer juris­diction on it the same way it also failed to fulfil those con­ditions in regards to Saraki, his client should also be set free.

Notably, the CCB by its own procedural rules is mandatori­ly required to invite alleged of­fenders to explain inconsist­encies in their declared assets before any charges can be initi­ated. In the case of both Tinu­bu and Saraki, the CCB failed to follow these rules and it’s on those grounds that Kanu Aga­bi insisted his client be set free.

Curiously, in rejecting Kanu Agabi’s plea to set Saraki free, the Chairman of the CCT Mr Danladi Umar who himself is subject to an EFCC investiga­tion over an alleged bribe, ad­mitted that the tribunal un­der his Chairmanship did set Bola Tinubu free in 2011 on the grounds that the CCB did not fulfil the necessary con­ditions before filing the case. He however added that free­ing Tinubu was an error which he has no intention of repeat­ing since it’s been overtaken by paragraph 3 (e) of the 1999 constitution. But contrary to Umar’s claim that his decision to reject Agabi’s plea is prem­ised on a constitutional provi­sion that has negated the neces­sity to fulfil certain conditions before initiating a trial; nei­ther the CCT act nor the 1999 constitution as it concerns the CCB has changed since Tinu­bu was freed. A standard prin­ciple in law is that similar cas­es particularly those previously adjudicated on get similar ver­dicts. This is why references to previous cases and verdicts are standard procedures in judicial processes. Why then is the ver­dict for Tinubu different from that of Saraki when the cir­cumstances and the laws are the same?

As bizarre as it gets, it’s ob­vious there is more to it than meets the eye. Someone is cer­tainly beating the drums that Umar is dancing to. Not only does his admission of making an error in freeing Tinubu di­minish his legitimacy, the fact the he is subject to an EFCC in­vestigation for corruption has nullified his fitness to preside over any tribunal. The funda­mentals of justice requires that it must not only be done it must also be seen to be done in a free and fair process without bias, inducement or coercion. How can such fundamentals be guar­anteed with a Judge who is un­der investigation for corruption and who admits freeing a de­fendant on procedural breach­es as set out in the CCT act but refuses to set free another de­fendant under similar circum­stances? This is more so con­sidering the fact that the Saraki CCT saga started only after he went against the wishes of the godfather’s in the APC and emerged the senate president. Prior to emerging the senate president, he was like all PDP politicians who decamped to the APC, an untouchable born again saint and darling of the party. All that changed when he went against the dictates of the godfathers.

There is hardly any Nigerian who would not support a gen­uine and holistic war on cor­ruption, but when the so called war on corruption is reduced to using state institutions like the EFCC, CCT, DSS to fight politi­cal opponents, advance person­al political interests, silence the opposition and in the process weaken/bastardise those insti­tutions, a greater corruption would have been unleashed on the society. When double standards, hypocrisy, persecu­tion and witch-hunting become the standard for fighting cor­ruption, the society is corrupt­ed even more. A good example suffices in the fact that Danla­di Umar publicly declared that Tinubu was freed in error, but when it was suggested that since the Judge admitted free­ing Tinubu in error, he should be re-arrested and prosecuted for fraudulent assets declara­tion, the same people who are calling for Saraki’s head went to great lengths to put up defenc­es on behalf of Tinubu, yet both of them committed exact same offence.

Just recently, Mr Joe Igbokwe the publicity secretary of APC in Lagos who has repeated­ly called for Saraki’s head pub­lished a lengthy article where he laboured not only to defend Tinubu but to lambast those calling for his prosecution. For him and other such hypocrites, Saraki is guilty and should be hanged while Tinubu is a saint that should be left alone even though both are guilty of ex­act same infraction. Such is the double standards and hypocri­sy that drives the so called cor­ruption war. It also goes to show the ultimate insincerity and un­derlying corruption in Buhari’s methods of fighting corruption. Lest we forget; corruption is not only about stealing of public funds—the evident undermin­ing and bastardisation of state institutions, use of state institu­tions to seek personal gain and advance personal political in­terests, inducement, coercion or intimidation of state offi­cials to work for personal inter­ests, silencing of the opposition, shielding corrupt political sup­porters while persecuting polit­ical opponents, disregarding the rule of law etc are the worst and most insidious forms of corrup­tion. Once institutions are per­sonalised and weakened the whole system becomes subject to corruption in all its facets.

Ultimately, the war on cor­ruption will never make sense except the long list of untouch­ables and Buhari protégées are done away with and institu­tions are allowed to function without fear or favour. Sara­ki and Tinubu are guilty of the same infraction and since the Judge has insisted on continu­ing with Saraki’s case, Tinubu’s case should also be re-opened and pursued with vigour. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Except this is done, the corruption war will lack legitimacy and will forever be viewed as a mere instrument of persecution and suppression of political opponents.
Re: Halt CCT On Saraki Now Judicial Procedure And Process Faulty Lacks Merit .... by rusher14: 4:24am On May 23, 2016
Saraki face your trial.

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Re: Halt CCT On Saraki Now Judicial Procedure And Process Faulty Lacks Merit .... by legendte(m): 5:54am On May 23, 2016
I still stand with GEJ, stealing is not corruption. Or better put this way, merely stealing of public funds is not corruption. Weakening of systems or deliberately creating loopholes is the biggest corruption. GEJ was weak in prosecuting corrupt officials which is bad but I know it is because of his free and kind heart. Nobody will accuse him of not blocking loopholes which is the real corruption. Look at his TSA which the present administration is shamelessly taking glory of. Look at his legacy in INEC and he had to sacrifice his ambition to make sure that the institution is protected. He saw the future and removed subsidy on pms yet it was resisted by this same power gladiators. He is a respecter of Rule of Law. Posterity will be kind with GEJ. Buhari has succeeded in killing these instruments of corruption fighting in just one year. People did and said all manner of things because it was GEJ. Same Buhari has killed the freedom of speech which GEJ handed over to us. Before the zombies will come and call for my head, let them tell me exactly what Buhari has put in place to fight corruption. Stealing is not corruption as merely persecution of political opponents is not fighting corruption. Look at the loophole and corruption he has introduced in Forex. Under GEJ, people would have called for his head and the humble man will accept responsibility as a true leader and most times apologise. This present government takes only credit and never accepts responsibility for failures. NEPOTISM is also corruption which this administration has conspicuously displayed. In this modern time, Nigeria needs a leader and not a ruler. Yaradua was and GEJ is a leader.

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