Judge can’t be teleguided to favour Saraki – Coun­sel

Daily Trust - - LAW - From Nu­rudeen Oye­wole, Lagos

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.

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