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EFCC report: Code of Conduct to try Atiku

Posted by By GODWIN TSA, Abuja on 2006/09/28 | Views: 420 |

EFCC report: Code of Conduct to try Atiku


The Code of Conduct Bureau said it was ready to prosecute Vice President Atiku Abubakar over the twin reports of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which indicted him for fraud and embezzlement of funds from the Petroluem Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

The Code of Conduct Bureau said it was ready to prosecute Vice President Atiku Abubakar over the twin reports of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which indicted him for fraud and embezzlement of funds from the Petroluem Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Already, the bureau said it has prepared charges against the Vice President which will be filed next week before the Code of Conduct Tribunal ahead of the actual trial fixed for October 10, 2006.

But sources from the Atiku Campaign Organisation has described the move as "forum shopping," saying the tribunal is constitutionally hamstrung to try the Vice President in view of his immunity guranteed under Section 308 of the 1999 constitution.

The campaign office, which said the government is running from pillar to post in desperation to scuttle Atikuís presidential ambition, recalled that earlier attempts by the tribunal to prosecute some state governors suffered a setback due to the immunity clause which covered the governors from both civil and criminal prosecution, "and the case of Atiku cannot be different."

Head of the legal department of the bureau, Mr. Thompson Olatigbe who disclosed this on Tuesday said Atiku's case will not come up until October 10, 2006. According to him, the bureau had studied the report indicting the Vice President and had made recommendations to the tribunal to try him.

Section 18 (1) of the 1999 constitution provides that "where the Code of Conduct Tribunal finds a public officer guilty of contravention of any of the provisions of this Code it shall impose upon that officer any of the punishments specified under sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph and such other punishment as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

(2) (a) vacation of office or seat in any legislative house, as the case may be; (b) disqualification from membership of a legislative house and from the holding of any public office for a period not exceeding 10 years; and (c) seizure and forfeiture to the State of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office."

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