As­set: Saraki’s trial ad­journed till Nov 5

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

The trial of the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent, Sen­a­tor Bukola Saraki be­fore the Code of Con­duct Tri­bunal (CCT) over al­leged false dec­la­ra­tion of as­sets was yes­ter­day ad­journed till Novem­ber 5.

The tri­bunal said that this was due to the pend­ing judg­ment of the Court of Ap­peal on the same mat­ter.

The Court of Ap­peal, Abuja Divi­sion had on Mon­day ad­journed in­def­i­nitely judg­ment in an ap­peal filed by Saraki seek­ing to stop his trial.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment had last month ar­raigned Saraki be­fore the tri­bunal on a 13-count charge both­er­ing on false as­sets dec­la­ra­tion to which he pleaded not guilty.

Af­ter an­nounc­ing ap­pear­ance, the pros­e­cu­tion coun­sel, Ro­timi Ja­cobs (SAN) noted that it was proper and pro­ce­dural for the ac­cused per­son who is present in court to stay in the dock while the trial pro­ceeds.

Saraki’s coun­sel, Mah­mud Ma­gaji (SAN) how­ever op­posed the sub­mis­sion and urged the tri­bunal to take ju­di­cial no­tice that there was a pend­ing ap­peal be­fore the Court of Ap­peal, hence the tri­bunal lacks the power to con­tinue with the trial.

How­ever, tri­bunal chair­man, Jus­tice Dan­ladi Umar held that the ac­cused per­son should en­ter the dock, af­ter which any other ap­pli­ca­tion can be made.

It was at this point that the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent moved into the dock and was given a chair to sit.

Ja­cobs in­formed the court about the pen­dency of the judg­ment at the Court of Ap­peal, not­ing that it would be a sign of re­spect to the ap­pel­late court for the pros­e­cu­tion to wait for its judg­ment.

Jus­tice Umar held that the ad­journ­ment will be for two weeks.

Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki waits for pro­ceed­ings at the Code of Con­duct Tri­bunal in Abuja yes­ter­day. The hear­ing was ad­journed till Novem­ber 5. Photo Macjohn Akande

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