Bukola Saraki Elected Senate President
Bukola Saraki Elected Senate President

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Monday, slated May 31 to hear an appeal, the Senate President, Dr. Bulola Saraki lodged against his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT. Saraki is challenging the jurisdiction of the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal to try him on the 16-count criminal charge, preferred against him by the Federal Government. The charge borders on his alleged false/anticipatory declaration of assets, money laundering, operation of foreign accounts while in office as the governor of Kwara State and allegation that he collected salaries as a governor, four years after his tenure had elapsed.

Saraki, through his team of lawyers led by a former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, is praying the appellate court to set aside a ruling the tribunal delivered against him on March 24. The tribunal had in the said ruling, held that it has the requisite jurisdiction to hear and determine the case against him. The two-man panel tribunal equally declined to stay further hearing on the matter to await the outcome of the appeal.

Meanwhile, the federal government through its lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, also filed a cross-appeal against the ruling of the tribunal. FG is contending that the tribunal failed to make findings on its argument that Saraki’s motion constituted a gross abuse of judicial process. It was the position of the government that since the issue of jurisdiction was earlier decided by the Supreme Court on February 5, following an appeal by the defendant, the tribunal ought not have entertained another application on the same issue.

Meantime, a five-man panel of Justices of the appellate court led by Justice Abdul Aboki, on Monday, adjourned to enable Saraki’s lawyer to study FG’s response to the substantive appeal. Agabi, SAN, had prayed the court for 14 days adjournment to enable him to study the process as he claimed he was just served on him by FG.

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