Reprieve for Saraki as Supreme Court Suspends His Trial at Conduct Tribunal
Reprieve came the way of President of the Senate, Rt Hon. Bukola Saraki as the Supreme Court Thursday ordered the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to suspend forthwith the ongoing trial of the Senate President which next sitting was fixed for next week.
The ruling of the Supreme Court has somehow restored sanity in the judiciary after the drama at the CCT last week in which counsels to Saraki had to stage a walkout from the Tribunal after the Chairman had insisted on going ahead with the case in spite of the pendency of the appeal by Saraki at the apex court, a move Saraki’s lawyers described as ‘judicial rascality’.
At the commencement of the hearing on the appeal brought before the Court, counsel to the federal government through, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, SAN, gave an undertaken that the Tribunal will stay action on the trial of Saraki pending the determination of his appeal by the Supreme Court. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge before theTribunal bordering on corruption and false declaration of assets when he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.
He however approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him, arguing that it was not properly constituted.
But in its ruling, two of the three-man panel of Justices of the Appellate Court threw away all the five issues raised by Saraki and ruled that the Tribunal has jurisdiction to precede with the trial.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the Appeal Court, Saraki approached the Supreme Court, praying it to grant stay of execution of the Appellate Court’s ruling as well as determine whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction.
The implication of the Supreme Court ruling is that the Tribunal would stay off Saraki’s case before it pending the determination of the appeal of Saraki by the apex court.