Saraki Loses Bid to Stop CCT Trial Again
Justice Abdulkadir Abdu-Kafarati of Federal High Court has dismissed the fundamental rights suit filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Abdu-Kafarati who gave a judgement today dismissed the suit as an abuse of court process.
The judge was scheduled to deliver judgment at noon. But he arrived 30 minutes earlier.
Lawyers from both parties announced their presence.
Bukola Saraki, filed the suit against the Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar and others involved in his ongoing trial on charges of false declaration of assets.
In the suit, Saraki argued that his trial before the CCT, as currently constituted was a violation of his right.
The Senate President said he could not get justice from the CCT Chairman who he claimed is currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for alleged bribery.
He argued that since EFCC is also prosecuting him before Justice Umar, the CTC Chairman may find it difficult to do justice and act independently in his his case.
“It is our argument in the suit that the Code of Conduct Tribunal cannot act independently the way it is currently constituted because we believe its Chairman, Danladi Umar, who is currently under investigation by the EFCC, cannot be independent in deciding a case being prosecuted before him by the EFCC.
“We have also contended that the EFCC, by admitting that the investigation of the case against our client was done by a special task force, as against the requirement by the provision in Schedule 3 of the Constitution, has usurped the exclusive duties of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). It is on that basis we argued that our client cannot get justice under the current arrangement and asked the court to quash the charge,” said Ajibola Oluyede, lawyer to the Senate President.
In essence, Saraki is asking the High Court to disqualify Justice Umar from presiding over his trial at CCT and challenging the legality of the charges.
Many lawyers had argued that the High court may be over reaching its powers if it grants the request since it has no supervisory role over the Tribunal.
Justice Kafarati was originally scheduled to deliver judgement in the case on 22 March after the parties have argued their briefs.