Law News
A’Court grants speedy hearing of Saraki’s case

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Thursday granted an accelerated hearing of the appeal filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to challenge the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to entertain the charges of false assets declaration preferred against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The Justice Moore Adumein-led panel of the Court of Appeal, adjourned till October 16 for definite hearing of the appeal.

Justice Adumein also indicated that the panel would decide the appeal before the next scheduled appearance of Saraki at the CCT on October 21.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal presided over by its Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar, had on September 22, fixed October 21, 22 and 23 for trial of the Senate President.

The tribunal fixed the dates for trial shortly after Saraki pleaded not guilty to the 13 counts of false assets declaration on September 22.

The tribunal had earlier ordered the Inspector- General of Police to arrest Saraki who had refused to show up to take his plea on the strength of a purported order of the Federal High Court in Abuja restraining his arraignment.

But Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who presides over his case at the Federal High Court, where Saraki had filed an ex parte application to stop the trial, had since denied issuing such order.

The judge also returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge.

Justice Mohammed has withdrawn from the suit following what he called negative reports in some sections of the media that he had been compromised.

Earlier before Saraki’s case was adjourned for definite hearing on Thursday, his counsel, Mr. Mahmud Magaji (SAN), had urged the Court of Appeal to expeditiously hear the appeal.

In addition to the appeal, the appellant had filed a separate application seeking an order of the Court of Appeal for stay of proceedings of the CCT pending the appellate court’s judgment on the case.

In his main appeal, Saraki asked the court of appeal to declare that the CCT lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charges and also sought an order quashing them.

His lawyer had anchored the prayers on, basically, the same set of arguments which the tribunal had earlier rejected before compelling him to appear to take his plea.

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