Fraud charges: Case against Bola Tinubu dismissed

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Ex Gov, Bola Tinubu

The former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been absolved of all criminal charges against him as the  Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed all charges against him.

Delivering the ruling, the tribunal quashed the three-count charges of illegally operating foreign accounts against him.

According to the Tribunal, the charges brought against Tinubu, the National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) were defective and shoddy in presentation.

Tinubu had been  accused of operating 10 foreign bank accounts in the United Kingdom and the United States in his name and in the name of his wife and children when he was Lagos state  governor and that he had  misinformed the Code of Conduct bureau by refusing to declare all the accounts it in his Code of Conduct forms.

The ex-governor, who last appeared before the tribunal last October to answer to the charges but was not arraigned as anticipated had asked the tribunal to quash the three-count charge against him.

Tinubu in his last appearance had challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him.

His Counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) had argued that his client is being charged before a tribunal which is unknown to the Nigerian Constitutionand that the mandatory conditions precedent for referral of complaints by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to the tribunal and the subsequent exercise of jurisdiction by the tribunal were not been complied with.

He said, “The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Sam Saba addressed a press conference on the activities of the Bureau in relation to past governors and public office holders. Many national dailies reported that the Bureau had called and discussed with some of the governors, so they should have extended the same courtesy to my client. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Olanipekun also described the amended charge filed by the prosecuting counsel, Alex Iziyon (SAN) at the last sitting, as abuse of court process since the initial one-count charge was still in existence at the time.

But Iziyon (SAN) responding had urged the tribunal to dismiss the application. He said the CCB had at various times invited Tinubu but he refused to appear and was evasive.