Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, said that he stopped the Federal Government from appealing Senator Bola Tinubu’s victory at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over his alleged operation of foreign accounts while he was Lagos State Governor.
“Even I am told that the Tinubu people think I was the one responsible for his trial at the Code of Conduct Bureau, but I was not the one.
“In fact, when the government wanted to appeal, I stood my ground that Tinubu should not be disgraced.
“I argued that there are people in Nigeria that we just cannot afford to rubbish over anything,” Mr. Adoke said
Adoke was Nigeria’s AGF between April 2010 and May 2015 under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He was indicted for his involvement in the $1.3billion Malabu Oil Scandal but however deny any wrongdoing.
Tinubu was tried before the CCT, led by Danladi Umar, on charges that he operated foreign bank accounts while serving as governor of Lagos State, which violates Section 7 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
But on 30 November, 2011, Danladi Umar who chaired the three-member panel setup to try the case dismissed the Nigerian government’s charges against Tinubu.
“There is condition precedent before this court that the accused person ought to have been invited by the CCB before this charge was filed, though the prosecuting counsel tendered the initial one-count charge dated March 22, which it eventually replaced with an amended charge dated September 19 but filed on the 20th, as an exhibit before this court, it, however, failed to adduce evidence of invitation it extended to the accused person prior to the charge.
“Consequently, it will be proper for me at this stage to cease further exercise of jurisdiction since the condition precedent was not met before the charge was filed,” Vanguard Newspapers quoted Mr. Umar as saying.
Adoke noted that even at the risk of appearing to be working for opposition, he intervened in the planned appeal by the Federal Government.
“Tinubu knows very well that I did that,” Mr. Adoke said.
“There was nothing legally possible that Tinubu wanted that I did not do for him, which made people even accuse me of working for the opposition at that time.”
The chairman of the CCT panel that ruled over Tinubu’s case at that time, Danladi Umar, said that he came under serious influence to discard the case, adding that he did it in the interest of the country.
“I want to say that during the case of Bola Tinubu, we were under serious influence so we did what we had to do,” the CCT chairman, Umar, said, stressing that the tribunal “did what it had to do”.