Judge can’t be teleguided to favour Saraki – Counsel
Prince Ajibola Oluyede, counsel to the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has debunked a news report claiming that Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court Lagos, almost granted an injunction to stop his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
In a statement made available to Daily Trust correspondent in Lagos, Oluyede said there is no iota of truth in the report by an online news medium, insisting that it would be difficult to teleguide a judge of Justice Buba’s status to favour Saraki with his ruling.
The lawyer said he instituted the suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos so as to actually protect Saraki’s fundamental rights to fair hearing and the need to presume him innocent until proven guilty.
According to Oluyede, his decision to file the application was to seek “remedies connected with the politically-motivated arraignment of Senator Saraki before the CCT and expose further plan to utilize the respondents in the suit to draw up charges against Senator Saraki and arraign him before a Lagos State High Court.
“Contrary to the falsehood in that report, the action was filed on the 30th of September 2015 with Suit No. FHC/L/ CS/1507/2015 and was not assigned until the 19th of October 2015 to Justice Buba.
“At no point did the judge indicate any interest in granting/inclination to grant an order to stop Saraki’s trial before the CCT as alleged by the false story in Sahara Reporters online portal,” a part of the statement read.
The respondents in the suit comprised of the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC, the ICPC, the Inspector General of Police, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal, their chairmen and a member of the CCT.
The lawyer further said the proceeding of the hearing as reported by the online medium that there was a legal plot to grant an injunction ordering the Code of Conduct Tribunal to stop Senator’s Saraki’s trial, but for the ‘intervention’ of an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lawyer, was also not true.
While defending the integrity of the judiciary, Oluyede added that, “Indeed, Justice Buba is reputed to be fearless, just, hardworking and very knowledgeable of the law. He is the sort of judge that cannot be intimidated by the bully tactics employed by some EFCC counsel.”
Narrating what transpired at the court, the lawyer in his statement noted that: “When the matter was first called up in open court, on Thursday 22nd October 2015, for the hearing of an ex-parte application seeking, inter alia, an order for leave to serve the processes outside Lagos, the judge observed that the respondents were all outside Lagos and wondered whether his court was the appropriate forum for hearing of the matter. As the day was fast spent at the time, he therefore adjourned to Friday 23rdof October 2015 in order that counsel may address him on the question whether he had jurisdiction to hear the application.”
Oluyede further added: “I was personally in court to move the application on Thursday 22nd October and whilst I was responding to the judge’s question, a junior EFCC lawyer, one Rotimi Oyedepo, who was in court for a different case attempted to stand up to make some remarks to the judge, which I disallowed.
“However, when the matter was called again in open court, on Friday 23rd of October, this same lawyer announced his appearance for the EFCC and having been granted audience by the judge made some remarks. The judge had already listened to submissions from applicant’s counsel about whether he had jurisdiction to hear the matter but had not ruled.
“Therefore, when Mr. Oyedepo again intervened, the court only proceeded to grant the prayer of the applicant for leave to serve the originating processes on the respondents (including EFCC) so that they might be put on notice and heard on the question of the court’s jurisdiction to hear the action, before the court would deliver a ruling on that issue,” he also said.
Kwara State Chief Judge, Justice Sulyman Kawu (4th left), Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed (5th left) Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad (3rd right) and other High Court Judges cutting the cake to mark 2015/2016 Legal Year in Ilorin yesterday.