Nigerian Senator Bukola Saraki’s media aides attempted to obstruct reporters from filming and photographing the embattled Senator during his Code of Conduct Tribunal today. According to news correspondents present in the courtroom, Senator Saraki’s media aides blocked and shielded him from photo and video equipment. Bukola Saraki was arraigned by the Code of Conduct Tribunal for false declaration of his assets.

Senator Bukola Saraki in Court facing charges of corruption

SaharaReporters has exposed Senator Saraki, and his family, for questionable financial transactions as well as unexplained properties and income from his time as a Director at Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria and Governor of Kwara State.

The drama started when the Special Adviser on Media Chuks Okocha, and Chief Press Secretary Sunny Onogu, informed a court official that the their boss was not happy with the live TV coverage of the court proceedings. Senator Saraki felt that the court should save him from embarrassment by the media.

The court official ordered that the journalists should stop the live coverage forthwith. The court official then called upon the Commissioner of Police for the FCT, Wilson Inalegu, to arrest cameramen of TVC and Channels for ignoring his order.

According to a SaharaReporters correspondent at Saraki’s Tribunal, the court and police threatened to cut the transmission from the TV broadcasting vans outside the courthouse.

Photojournalists who had been camping outside the court were banned from taking Saraki's picture, with threats to seize their cameras. 

It would be recalled that his lawyer, Joseph Dawodu raised a frivolous application questioning the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, which is not a court with criminal jurisdiction, to try a criminal case. He argued that the Criminal Justice Code and Act does not apply to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, but only in the Federal High Courts and Magistrate Courts.

He pointed out that they have met the order of the court to produce the accused, Senator Bukola Saraki, but dismissed the argument by the prosecution counsel, Jacob Rotimi, that Senator Saraki should enter the dock and take his plea before any jurisdictional claims can be proven.                             

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar, ordered Saraki to enter the dock and take his plea.

You may also like

Read Next

For comments view this content on the regular site.