The recent indefinite adjournment by the Court ofAppeal, Abuja again took toll on the trial of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over the case of alleged false declaration of assets.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, the case was again stalled due to the pending judgment of the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had on Monday adjourned indefinitely judgment in an appeal filed by Saraki which seeks to stop his trial.
Recall that Federal Government had last month arraigned Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13 count charge bothering on false assets declaration.
Saraki, who pleaded not guilty to the 13 count charges, had also approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to challenge the decision of the tribunal to try him.
At yesterday’s hearing, Saraki, accompanied by 34 other Senators had arrived the tribunal at about 9:57am in four Costa buses bearing the registration number ‘NASS MGT, while the Tribunal resumed at about 10:46am to commence the business of the day.
After announcing appearance, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN noted that it was proper and procedural for the accused person who is present in court to stay in the dock while the trial proceeds.
Counsel to accused person, Mahmud Magaji SAN however opposed the submission but rather urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that there is a pending appeal before the Court of Appeal, and hence the tribunal lacks the power to continue with the trial.
In a short ruling, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar held that the accused person should enter the dock, after which any other application can be made. It was at this point that the Senate President moved into the dock and was given a chair to sit.
Jacobs however informed the court about the pungency of the judgement at the Court of Appeal, noting that it will be a sign of respect to the appellate court for the prosecution to wait for its judgement before any other thing could be done on the matter. He therefore prayed the court to adjourn for two weeks.
Magaji however opposed the application for two weeks adjournment, he consequently prayed the court to adjourn sine dine pending the judgement of the court of appeal.
– Tony Ailemen,Abuja