SEPTEMBER 22, 2015 : OUR CORRESPONDENTS
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Senate President Bukola Saraki
THE Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Monday
said he would appear before the Code of
Conduct Tribunal on Tuesday (today) to face a
13-count charge of false asset declaration
levelled against him by the Code of Conduct
Saraki’s promise to appear before the CCT as a
“law-abiding citizen” followed failed judicial
battle on Monday to stop his arrest and trial by
“I will be there, I have nothing to hide. One was
exercising his own right both at the Federal High
Court and the Court of Appeal. So, I will appear
before the tribunal. The most important thing is
that I believe in the process and I will ensure
that I am there tomorrow morning,” he told
journalists covering the Senate in Abuja.
Moments later, a statement by the Senate
president’s spokesman, Yusuph Olaniyonu,
reinforced the promise by Saraki to finally appear
before the CCT.
Olaniyonu’s statement partly read, “Following the
adjournment for the determination of the motion
on notice and the substantive suit before the
Federal High Court to 30th of September and the
appeal pending before the Court of Appeal
adjourned to the 29th of September 2015, the
Senate President has decided, as a law abiding
citizen, to appear before the Tribunal in the
“Dr. Saraki has taken the decision to attend the
Tribunal sitting to demonstrate his respect for
the rule of law in spite of his personal
reservation on the process of his trial and the
purpose it may be intended to serve.
“Dr. Saraki wishes to assure Nigerians of his
absolute belief in the judicial process and is
therefore confident that the course of justice
would be served at the end of this matter.”
Courts refuse to stop trial
Earlier in the day, both the Court of Appeal and a
Federal High Court in Abuja had refused the
Senate President’s ex-parte applications to halt
his arrest and trial respectively.
Saraki had asked the FHC to stop the CCB and
the CCT from prosecuting him while demanding
from the Appeal Court an order to stay the
execution of the order of arrest made by the
Justice Danladi Umar of the CCT as well as the
proceedings of the tribunal.
At the FHC, Saraki’s lawyer, Adebayo Adelodu
(SAN), had asked the court to make his prayers
that the tribunal be stopped from proceeding
with the trial in the ex-parte application absolute.
But Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who presided,
refused the application and ordered that the
respondents be put on notice.
He held that in view of the fact that the
respondents had joined issues with the plaintiffs,
coupled with fundamental, constitutional and
radical nature of the preliminary objection, which
borders on the jurisdiction of the court and
supervisory powers of the tribunal, the court
would not dissipate energy and time on
The court therefore dismissed the application
and ordered that the applicant to put the
respondents on notice. The judge later adjourned
the case till September 30 for hearing of the
At the Court of Appeal where Saraki’scounsel
prayed the court to set aside the order of arrest
on Saraki and also stay the proceedings at the
tribunal, Justice Morri Adumein, in his ruling, held
that the respondents should also be put on
According to him, Section 15 of the Court of
Appeal Act 2004 (as amended) gives the court
the general power to make interim orders.
He further stressed that for the court to exercise
such powers, the application for the interim order
should be in writing.
“It is for this reason that the court will refuse
this application for interim injunction. It would
better serve the interest of justice for the
respondents to be put on notice. Consequently,
the motion is hereby refused and struck out,” the
He however adjourned the case till September 29
for hearing of the motion on notice.
After the ruling, Adelodun prayed the court to
make a preservative order to preserve the RES
of the case so as to maintain status quo.
In his response, Justice Adumein, said that it
was not in the interest of the court to interfere
in the affairs of lower courts.
“To appear before the tribunal is not a death
sentence, we can come in at any point,” he
CCT renews arrest order
The CCT on Monday renewed its order of arrest
on Saraki by the Inspector-General of Police.
The tribunal’s Justice Danladi Umar again
ordered the IG, Solomon Arase, to arrest and
produce the Senate president at the tribunal on
Tuesday (today) to take his plea in the 13-count
charge slammed on him.
The CCT had earlier on Friday ordered Saraki’s
arrest by the IG with a mandate to produce him
on Monday (yesterday).
The lead counsel to Saraki and former President
of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Joseph
Daudu (SAN), had on Friday given an undertaking
to produce the Senate president in court on
However at the resumed trial on Monday, Daudu
informed the CCT that the accused had filed an
appeal before the appellate court to challenge
the tribunal’s earlier ruling.
He prayed the tribunal to stay proceedings,
pending the determination the appeal.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs
(SAN), opposed the application, arguing that
Section 305 and 306 of the Administration of
Criminal Justice Act (2015), did not allow a stay
of proceeding in any criminal matter any longer.
Jacobs further informed the CCT that because of
the undertaking made by Daudu on Friday that
he would produce Saraki in court, he (Jacobs)
had advised the Federal Government not to
execute the arrest as a mark of honour to the
He said that he was surprised that despite the
undertaking by Daudu, the accused person was
still not in court.
Jacobs therefore prayed the tribunal to make an
order that will produce the accused person in
Delivering his ruling on the absence of Saraki in
court, Justice Umar said, “We have taken note of
the observations made by counsel for the
accused on the pending matter at the FHC, but
it is worthy of note that the order of the FHC did
not suspend the sitting of the tribunal.
“We also disagree on the argument of the
accused that applicability of the Administration
of Criminal Justice Act did not affect this
tribunal; this tribunal is duty bound to apply the
new law because it affects the tribunal. This
tribunal has to take a position that in the interest
of justice, the position of the tribunal is that the
accused must be compelled to appear before
this tribunal tomorrow (today).
“In this wise, we re-affirm that the bench
warrant of last Friday must be executed for the
Inspector-General of Police or other security
agencies to arrest and produce the accused
before this tribunal tomorrow (today) by 10:00
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