CCT: Saraki’s Trial Stalled Over Fresh Motion
66 SANs Appear For Him
The trial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was stalled yesterday following a fresh motion on notice filed by the Defendant.
The Federal Government had filed a 13-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets against him.
At the resumed trial, the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), announced to the court that the business of the day was hearing and that his witnesses, 13 of them, were in court.
But in a swift follow-up, Counsel to Saraki, Kanu Agabi (SAN), said he had filed a fresh application challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal over the case.
The Motion, dated March 4, was in pursuant to Section 36 (6) (a)(b), 36 (12) and paragraph 15 of the First Schedule to the 1999 Constitution: Section 3 and paragraph 1 of the third schedule of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.
The application was seeking an order of the court quashing and/or striking out the charges contained in Charge No. CCT/ABJ/01/2015 filed on September 14, last year by the Respondent against the Applicant.
The grounds for the fresh application include that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain the charge; that a condition precedent to the exercise of jurisdiction has not been fulfilled and that the charge was brought in bad faith.
Other grounds include the fact that the charge was not brought in the public interest; it constitutes a gross abuse of legal process; that it was brought in violation of all due process and in violation of the Defendant/Applicant’s right to fair hearing as enshrined in the constitution.
It was equally stated in the motion that the charge cannot lie at the instance of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.
The development, however, triggered a mild drama that lasted about an hour, as Jacobs objected the motion, describing it as frivolous and an attempt to scuttle trial.
Jacobs also told the court that he was not served the motion, which was unusual, adding that the matter was originally scheduled for March 10, but had to be moved at the instance of the Defendant, who wrote on February 26, asking for an adjournment.
He recalled a similar application from the Defendant, dated September last year, asking for transfer of the case, which the Supreme Court dismissed and asked him to go back to the tribunal to face the charge.