Foreign Accounts: Tinubu’s trial begins today
On October 26, 2011.
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA — Trial of the former Governor of Lagos State and leader of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will commence before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, sitting in Abuja today.
The ex-governor, who was previously docked at the tribunal on September 21 on allegation that he operated 10 foreign accounts whilst in office between 1999 and 2007, will today enter his plea to the 3-count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He was specifically accused of violating section 7 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15 LFN, 2004 as amended, by operating the said accounts, an offence punishable under section 23(2) thereof as incorporated under paragraph 18, part 1, fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Tinubu had on the last adjourned date asked a three-man panel of justices of the CCT presiding over the matter, to grant him time to peruse the charge which he said was served on his legal team right inside the court room.
He made the request on a day the federal government withdrew a one-count charge dated March 22, which it, ab-initio, lodged before the tribunal and replaced it with a fresh three-count charge it filed on September 20.
Tinubu at the Tribunal. Photo: Saharareporters.
Meanwhile, before the charges were substituted, lead counsel to the accused person, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, who led 9 other Senior Advocates of Nigeria that entered their appearance for the defendant, challenged the propriety of the substantive suit, just as he decried the procedure adopted by the prosecution in summoning his client to court.
He told the Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar led three-man panel that the decision of his client to appear before them on that day was due to the utmost respect he has for the institution of the judiciary.