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22.09.2011 NFC Crime Watch

Tinubu’s Trial Runs Into Brickwall, Fireworks By Lawyers

By Nnamdi Felix
Tinubu’s Trial Runs Into Brickwall, Fireworks By Lawyers
LISTEN SEP 22, 2011

A highly tactical legal firework stalled the commencement of the trial of former Lagos state Governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu before the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

No sooner the 3-man panel of the Tribunal walked into the court room signalling the commencement of proceedings in the matter, than the Prosecution team led by Dr. Alex Izinyon, a senior advocate of Nigeria, applied to withdraw a pending 2-count charge filed against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu which had been severally circulated in the media and sought to replace it with a fresh 3-count charge which are similar to those of the earlier charge but for the inclusion of a third count.

Dr. Izinyon confirmed that he just served the amended charge on the legal team of the former Governor right there inside the court.

Chief Wole Olanipekun, leading a legal team of 10 senior advocates of Nigeria comprising Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Charles Edosanwa, Niyi Akintola, Dele Belgore, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, Kabiru Turaki, Ifedayo Adedipe, Deji Sashogbon, Dele Adesina and Femi Falana and other lawyers, for the defence of the former Lagos state Governor, while reacting to the application of Dr. Izinyon, told the court that the presence of Bola Tinubu in court today was as a sign of respect to the institution as he was not personally served as required by the law before his appearance.

The Presiding Chairman of the Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, complimented the former Governor for such an act, noting that since he was not personally served, he would have opted not to appear before the Tribunal.

He called on others to emulate the sterling behaviour of Tinubu who chose instead to appear and ensure that the wheel of justice is not delayed.

Olanipekun indicated that his team would not oppose the application to withdraw the earlier charge but requested that time be allowed for them to file similar preliminary objection which they had filed against the pending charge which is being withdrawn.

Having indicated that the defence team is not opposed to the withdrawal application moved by the prosecution, the Tribunal struck out the earlier charge and replaced it with the fresh 3-count charge.

That was as far as the matter proceeded before a legal hurdle was placed against attempts by Dr. Izinyon to get the new charge read to Bola Tinubu for his plea to be taken.

Olanipekun blatantly refused for his client to take a plea on the new charge, noting that they are challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to try the former Lagos state governor. He told the court that it had to dispense with the issue of jurisdiction first before plea can be taken.

The senior advocate told the court that the defence team is contesting the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter as well as the competence of the charge which they said is defective and wondered how the court can compel one to take plea on a defective charge.

He specifically told the panel members that there is no known law which empowers them to side track the former governor's right to challenge their jurisdiction, more so since he, Tinubu, had raised his objections timeously as required by the law.

The panel members noted that they are for fairness to both the complainant and the defendant and observed that the issue of jurisdiction raised by Tinubu is crucial. Subsequently, the court acquiesced to the request of Wole Olanipekun to formally file their preliminary objections and serve on the complainant and adjourned further proceedings to 26 October.

Part of the new charge read, “that you Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state, being a public officer and listed in part II of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and having subscribed to the oath of office as contained in the Fifth Schedule of the constitution on assumption of office between 1999- 2000 and while in office as such, engaged yourself in the operation of several foreign bank accounts.

That you Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos state, being a public officer and listed in part II of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and having subscribed to the oath of office as contained in the Fifth Schedule of the constitution on assumption of office between 1999- 2000 and while in office as such, misinformed Code of Conduct Tribunal by stating in the form CCB1 that you do not have foreign accounts contrary to section 15 (2) of the CCB and T Act, Cap C15, LFN 2004 as amended and punishable under paragraph 18, Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Names and addresses of the banks where the former Governor allegedly operated the foreign accounts were copiously listed on the charge sheet. Some are as follows;

First Heritage Bank, Country Club Hills, Illinois, USA; Account Name, Bola Tinubu, Account Number-263226700.

Citibank NA New York, USA; Account Name, Bola Tinubu & Compass Finance and Investment Company Ltd.; Account Nos-39483134, 39483396, 4650279566, 00400220, 39936383.

Citibank International New York; Account Name, Bola Tinubu.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen Bola Tinubu; Account No-71253670, SORT CODE-40-03-15.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen. Bola Oluremi Tinubu; Account No-71253670, SORT CODE-40-03-15.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen. Bola Tinubu-Money Market; Account No-04320002DN.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Tinubu Habibat Oyindamola (Miss); Account No-1320960111.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J; Account Name, Tinubu Zainab Abisola (Miss); Account No-172447101.

HSBC,177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J; Account Name, Tinubu Oluremi Shade; Account No-1916667988.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Oluremi Shade Tinubu, Account No-41421522

Country Club Hills, Illinois, USA; Account Name, Bola Tinubu, Account Number-263226700.

Citibank NA New York, USA; Account Name, Bola Tinubu & Compass Finance and Investment Company Ltd.; Account Nos-39483134, 39483396, 4650279566, 00400220, 39936383.

Citibank International New York; Account Name, Bola Tinubu.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen Bola Tinubu; Account No-71253670, SORT CODE-40-03-15.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen. Bola Oluremi Tinubu; Account No-71253670, SORT CODE-40-03-15.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Sen. Bola Tinubu-Money Market; Account No-04320002DN.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Tinubu Habibat Oyindamola (Miss); Account No-1320960111.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J; Account Name, Tinubu Zainab Abisola (Miss); Account No-172447101.

HSBC,177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J; Account Name, Tinubu Oluremi Shade; Account No-1916667988.

HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 6OJ; Account Name, Oluremi Shade Tinubu, Account No-41421522.

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Pictures: Former Lagos Governor , Bola Tinubu, Arraigned At the Code Of Conduct Tribunal.

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