Senate President Bukola Saraki and Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court, among other defendants currently being prosecuted before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, may have their properties, which are subject of the charges preferred against them, temporality forfeited pending the final determination of their cases.
This is according to the CCT’s new Practice Direction, 2017, released last week.
The 26-paragraph Practice Direction, with commencement date of February 16, 2017, is signed by the CCT’s Chairman, Danladi Umar, and the other member of the tribunal, William Atedze.
Paragraph 12 of the document, which deals with ‘Seizures’, gives the prosecution the discretion to apply (through ex-parte motion) for temporary forfeiture of assets which are subject of the trial pending the final determination of the case.
It allows the prosecution to make the application for property seizure at the commencement of the trial or “at a reasonable time thereafter”.
According to legal experts, since the new practice direction is a procedural framework, it will take immediate effect on ongoing cases.
Paragraph 12 reads, “The prosecution may, at the commencement of the trial or at a reasonable time thereafter, apply to the tribunal for an interim order of seizure, forfeiture and confiscation of the property, the subject of the charge pending the final determination of same by the tribunal.
Punch, April 24, 2017
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