Friday, September 18, 2015

#SarakiGate: #Saraki fails to stop trial

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Senate President Bukola Saraki failed yesterday to stop his arraignment today before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja

A Federal High Court in Abuja refused his prayer for an ex-parte order restraining the CCT, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from proceeding with his planned arraignment on a 13-count charge brought against him by the Office of the AGF.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who heard Saraki’s lawyer, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), in relation to the ex-parte motion in chambers, directed that the respondents be put on notice.

Continue reading after the cut.....

The judge directed the respondents to appear before the court on Monday to show cause why Saraki’s prayers, as contained in his ex-parte motion, should not be granted.

The Judge ordered that the respondents be served with all the court processes, including the motion of notice for interim order or injunction, motion ex-parte and a hearing notice.

The office of the AGF had filed the charge dated September 11 against Saraki before the CCT, accusing him of committing, among others,  offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara State.

Saraki is accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor; acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings and operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator.

The Senate President is, in the charge endorsed by a Deputy Director at the FMJ, Muslim Hassan, said to have, by the offences, breached Section 2 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

The CCT, on Wednesday, fixed today for Saraki’s arraignment. But, in an effort to prevent the CCT from proceeding with its business, Saraki raced to the Federal High Court, Abuja with the ex-parte application.

Saraki urged the court to restrain  the Federal Ministry of Justice, CCB, CCT and Mr. Hassan, who signed the charge, from taking any further step to arraign or prefer any charge against him, pending the hearing and determination of the suit he filed along with the ex-parte motion.

He is, in the substantive suit,  praying the court to declare that the ministry has not complied with the provision of the 3rd Schedule of Section 24(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act to act before proffering a charge against him.

He contends  that based on the provision of Section 24 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, it is the AGF or any officer directed by him (AGF) that must initiate charges against him (Saraki).

Saraki contends that “in the absence of any substantive AGF in the time being, this court has the jurisdiction to direct parties to maintain status quo, pending the hearing of the motion on notice”.

He argued  that since there is no subsisting AGF, the charge against him by the official of the AGF before the CCT is void as the provisions of Section 24 (1) of the CCB and tribunal.

Culled - TheNation

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