Judge withdraws from Saraki’s case
Justic Abdulkadir Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday refused to deliver judgment in the case of enforcement of fundamental human rights instituted by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
He also washed his hands off the case, stressing that he would return the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for possible reassignment to another judge.
The judge based his decision on allegation against him in respect of the case by Sahara Reporters, an online medium.Justice Kafarati who had earlier fixed yesterday for the verdict, informed counsel in the case that the online medium had alleged in its publication that he was compromised to the tune of N2 billion by Saraki so as to give judgment in his favour.
Justice Kafarati also stated that the medium quoted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as its source of information and that the same EFCC source also confirmed to the Sahara Reporters that the said N2 billion from Saraki had been found in his bank account.
According to Justice Kafarati, the online medium’s publication was not only condemnable having been so biased against him, but was also malicious and unwarranted.
He said: “It is only here in Nigeria that people just wake up and start assassinating the character of their fellow beings wickedly and unjustly simply because there are no strong laws to take care of such people.
“In the instance case, I am already caught in between two devils because even though the judgement is ready, any attempt to give the judgment in this matter can be used by the wicked people to justify their malicious publication against my person.”
“I was even called a high level corrupt judge and this is very unfortunate that a publication from a medium that is supposed to be objective was dished out in the most reckless manner”.
Adding: “I regard them as people without conscience who derive pleasure in publishing what they know that is not true simply because they wanted to assassinate a character.
“In view of this grievous allegation, even though my judgment in the matter is ready, I have no option than to disqualify myself from proceeding to deliver the judgment because the malicious publication had already polluted the minds of the general public”.
The Judge consequently disqualified himself from the case.Saraki had filed a legal action at the Federal High Court to seek enforcement of his fundamental human rights to a fair hearing and trial on the criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false declaration of assets.