Although I would want the Saraki trial to continue – to serve as deterrence to other negligent or fraudulent public officers – I can’t help agreeing with those who say that the latest ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal is a discriminatory application of the law and an affront to fair hearing principle enshrined in our constitution.
The job of the Code of Conduct Bureau is to collate completed asset declaration forms submitted by public officers and examine them for omissions or undisclosed assets. If the Bureau finds evidence of such, the law requires that it invites the officer and confronts him or her with the proof. This is where it gets interesting, especially for those like Saraki at that time – those elected and about to assume a public office. If the officer admits that it was an honest omission, the matter dies instantly as a correction is made. If however there is a disagreement or the Board finds evidence of corruption (for those already in public office), the matter is referred to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for adjudication and/or trial. In other words, the disciplinary board is only there to resolve the issue of recalcitrant asset declarants or those who are judged to have misappropriated public assets as evidenced by their subsequent declarations while in office.
APC chieftain, ex-Gov. Bola Tinubu, escaped the Tribunal’s hammer because he was able to prove that he was not invited first to the Board to defend his asset declaration before being hustled to the Tribunal to face corruption charges. Today, however, the same tribunal chair who allowed Tinubu to go because of a breach of due process by the Bureau has given Saraki a different ruling from a similar breach of due process.
This is all so tiring; I feel the frustrations of President Buhari but I lay the blame not on the judiciary but squarely on the incompetence of or sabotage from the corruption investigators.
I think there is need to ensure that the executors of the anti-corruption crusade are ready for the job. Initially, I used to think that there is a method to the madness they display through their tardiness – a kind of deliberate muddying up of the process, perhaps to create room for “negotiations” or to pull the wood over the eyes of an angry public baying for blood. Now, I’m not so sure that this is not a case of genuine negligence or lack of capacity on their part.
It is a genuine cause for worry. This is the most critical outcome that I for one would like to see from the work of the panel investigating the activities of EFCC and CCB/CCT.
As for the matter of the Senate President, it is unfortunate that the rules of the process were breached. There are two credible options left, in my view: follow due process by referring his case back to the CCB to give Saraki the fair hearing that he was denied; or follow the Tinubu precedence by dismissing the case because due process was not followed. Doing anything else, including continuing with the case,  cannot escape from being rightly perceived as vendetta and political persecution.

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