The recent happenings in the politically motivated persecution of the Senate President, H.E. Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (C.O.N) has necessitated the beaming of search lights on the status of the CCT.
Findings have shown that the CCT functions directly under the presidency. Its funding and operation is controlled by the Executive arm of the Federal Government. In fact the current Chairman of the CCT, Hon. Danladi Umar decried before the Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Senator Chukwuka G. Utazi that presently the CCT is under the Presidency (Executive Arm).The implication of this is that the CCT is placed under the Presidency instead of the Judiciary. The question to ask is that, can we call the Chairman and Members of the CCT judicial officers?
A critical perusal of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria will shed light into this question.
It is not stated anywhere in the 1999 Constitution or any law that the Chairman and Members of the CCT are “judicial officers”. In the 1999 Constitution, part iv. Interpretation Citation And Commencement, Section 318 “JUDICIAL OFFICE “means the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria or Justice of the Supreme Court, the President or Justice of the Court of Appeal, the office of the Chief Judge or Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the office of the Chief Judge of a state and Judge of the High Court of a state, a Grand Kadi or Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a President or Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a Grand Kadi or Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a state; and a reference to a ” judicial officer “is reference to the holder of any such office.
There is a popular adage that says “He who pays the pipers dictates the tunes”. Naturally the CCT will always dance to the tunes of the Executive until the Constitution is amended to give the CCT independence. It is a settled principle of law that justice must not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.
The CCT, CCB and EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Justice are all PARASTATALS of the Presidency. We all can now see why Mr. Danladi Umar has been so biased and impartial. Let all lovers of Democracy and Justice rise to condemn the illegal persecution and witch hunting of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
In conclusion the purported trial which in actual fact is gross persecution of the Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki negates the principle of natural justice. There is no fair hearing and the adjudicating body, the CCT, is incurably biased .Such trial/persecution must not stand.