Court rejects Saraki’s fresh application to stop CCT trial

senate president bukola saraki

A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a fresh application by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, seeking an order of interim injunction to stop his trial on charges of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The fresh fundamental rights enforcement suit is the third which the Senate President has filed before both the Lagos and Abuja divisions of the Federal High Court to stop his trial since September, when the Federal Government filed the charges against him.

Our correspondent learnt on Wednesday that Justice Abdulkadir Abdul-Kafarati on Monday (November 16) refused to grant the order of interim injunction sought by Saraki through an ex parte application.

Rather than grant the ex parte motion moved by the Senate President’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, Justice Abdul-Kafarati ordered the respondents to the suit to appear before the court on Friday to show cause why the prayers sought by Saraki should not be granted.

A copy of the court order sighted by our correspondent on Wednesday showed that the fresh suit was filed by Saraki the same day a similar one which he filed before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court was struck out for lack of jurisdiction.

Justice Buba had struck out the suit on the grounds that it ought to have been filed in Abuja where he said was the place issues that were being complained of by Saraki arose, instead of Lagos.

The order of Justice Abdul-Kafarati, made on November 16 after hearing Saraki’s ex parte application, came barely four days after the Supreme Court on November 12 granted an order of stay of proceedings on the Senate President’s trial before the CCT.

The Justice John Fabiyi-led panel of the apex court had halted the CCT’s proceedings pending when Saraki’s main appeal challenging the competence of the charges and the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him would be determined by the apex court.

Saraki had in the ex parte application sought a number of prayers asking for an order of interim injunction to halt his trial on 13 counts of false asset declaration before the CCT.

But in refusing to grant the restraining orders sought by Saraki, the judge ruled, “That the respondents are hereby directed to appear before this court on Friday, November 20,2015 to show cause why the orders in the motion ex parte will not be granted.

“That the matter stands adjourned till the 20th day of November 2015 for the respondents to appear to show cause.”

The new suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/905/2015, has the same set of 11 respondents, like the old one.

The respondents include the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.

Others are the Code of Conduct Bureau, the CCT; the CCT chairman, Justice Danladi Umar; Mr. Ataedzeagu Adza, CCB chairman, Mr. Sam Saba; Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Diri; and a Deputy Director in the ministry, Mr. Muslim Hassan.

Saraki was arraigned in September before the CCT on charges of false assets declaration which he allegedly committed in 2003 while he was Kwara State Governor.

In the fresh suit, he seeks as he sought in the former suit a declaration that his trial at the CCT falls short of the requirements of Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said there was a “clear appearance of bias” against him, as well as an “apparent pursuit of a pre-determined agenda for the humiliation and conviction of the applicant.”

The Senate President sought an order nullifying the charges at the CCT and an order restraining the tribunal from continuing with his trial.

The applicant prayed the court to restrain the AGF, EFCC, Saba, Diri and Hassan from continuing with the trial at CCT or any other judicial forum.

He further sought a declaration that the “obvious subjugation and use of the respondents against the applicant for the political objectives of the ruling political party at the federal level, the All Progressives Congress, amounts to an exercise of executive power for ulterior motives and not for the public good…”


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