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Saraki’s Motion Against AGF Stalls His Trial

A motion filed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging power of Attorney General of the Federation to institute criminal charges against him yesterday stalled his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Counsel to Saraki, informed the tribunal that it was a common practice to deal with the motion before commencing the trial.
Agabi said that the application had challenged the power of the AGF to institute the criminal charges against his client.
The application also queried the involvement of the EFCC in the investigation of the applicant’s assets declaration that remained the constitutional right of only the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Meanwhile, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the Prosecuting counsel, objected to the hearing of the motion on the ground that he was not served the process.
“My lord, this should not be allowed to happen because I have not been served the motion.
“The defendant’s team had always served me their process being the person given the fiat to prosecute the case by the Federal Ministry of Justice, but they have chosen to do otherwise this time around.
“My Lord, the reason is not farfetched. It is an attempt to frustrate the trial,’’ he said.
The prosecuting counsel further said: “the issues in the motion even though I do not have it, I am told are elements that have been dealt with by the Supreme Court.
“The issues of jurisdiction, power of the AGF to institute the charge and many other possible inhibitions were decided by the Supreme Court.
“The apex court has ordered the tribunal to commence trial proceedings and on the basis of that bought our witnesses to start the trial today only to be faced with this new situation,’’ he said.
However, it took the intervention of Mr Danladi Umar, Chairman of the tribunal, for parties to agree on a middle ground.
According to Umar, the hearing of the motion and the trial can go on simultaneously.
Umar, however, said the issue on non-service of the motion on the prosecution must be resolved before proceedings can continue.
Furtherance to the wise counsel of the tribunal chairman, the defendant counsel apologised to the prosecuting counsel for his inability to serve him with the process.
“I am, indeed, sorry for our inability to serve you in person, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the prosecuting counsel.
“We did serve the ministry of justice and our thinking was that the motion will be communicated to you.
“You know I love you, and I will not do anything to undermine your duties as a prosecutor,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chairman went on to adjourn the hearing of the motion till March 18.
Saraki is standing trial for allegedly breaching assets declaration rules and Money Laundering allegations while serving as governor of Kwara State. (NAN

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