Appeal Court joins CCT, suspends Saraki’s trial


The Court of Appeal in Abuja has again suspended its hearing of an application filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, seeking to quash the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal assuming jurisdiction over his trial in a case of alleged false declaration of assets.

The Appeal Court’s decision follows that of the Conduct Tribunal which on Wednesday adjourned the trial of the senate president indefinitely.

Saraki had in April made an application to the Court of Appeal, challenging a ruling by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, which dismissed his questioning of the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him.

The Senate President is asking the higher court to set aside the decision of the tribunal and declare his trial invalid.

The tribunal had on May 31 adjourned hearing into the application, following the inability of the judges to form a quorum that comprises five judges.

A panel of three judges, led by Justice Moore Adumien had on that day adjourned the hearing, after waiting for about two hours for the other two judges to arrive.

Justice Adumien had adjourned the trial to June 2.

But the matter again got stalled on Thursday, as Kanu Agab (SAN), who is the lead counsel to Saraki, wrote the court through another counsel in his team, Joe Achogwu, seeking a further adjournment on health grounds.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), did not object Agabi’s application.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, had on Wednesday adjourned the Saraki’s trial indefinitely, after a star witness for the prosecution failed to show up at the court.

Saraki’s trial was on May 25 adjourned till Wednesday, for the cross-examination of the witness, Michael Wetkas, to continue.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, said the adjournment was to give the court time to hear other cases.

The prosecution and defence teams also said the break would allow them prepare their cases better.

Despite the explanations, there had been speculations that the CCT might come to this decision on Wednesday. There had been talks, for instance, of how the Saraki trial has almost about grounded other trials at the tribunal.

“There are other high profile cases still lined up and we cannot go on with them because of the Saraki trial,” Daily Independent sources report.

There was also speculation, too, that Wetkas, the star witness in Saraki trial was attending another trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The tribunal’s spokesman, Ibrahim Alhassan, was however later quoted as saying that the decision was taken at the instance of the prosecution counsel.

“He said his prime Witness One was to appear before another court to testify against another high-profile personality today in Abuja,” Alhassan said.


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