Court to deliver judgment in Saraki’s appeal Friday

SARAKI

The Court of Appeal, Abuja is expected to deliver judgment on Friday in the appeal by Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Saraki, who is standing trial on a 13-count charge of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), is appealing the tribunal’s decision to assume jurisdiction over his trial.

The appellate court had, on October 16, after taking arguments from parties, fixed judgment for 2 pm on October 19, but failed deliver it on the ground that the judgment was not ready.

The judgment was reserved indefinitely, with the court promising to communicate a new date to parties.

It was learnt Thursday that notices were sent to parties informing them about Friday’s date.

The delay by the Court of Appeal to deliver its judgment has stalled proceedings before the CCT, which has elected to await the appellate court’s decision before taking any further steps in Saraki’s trial.

Listed as respondents in the appeal are the CCT, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the Federal Ministry of Justice and a lawyer in the ministry, Muslim Hassan.

Arguing the appeal on October 16, Saraki’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), urged the appellate court to set aside the entire proceedings before the CCT, including the charge before it.

He argued that the CCT was not properly constituted on when it assumed jurisdiction to entertain the charges because it was made up of two members as against three, which is provided for in Paragraph 15(1) of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.

Daudu contended that the provision of Section 28 of the Interpretation Act relied upon by the respondents to argue that the tribunal could validly sit with its Chairman and one other member, was a contradiction of the three-member provision in the Constitution.

He also argued that the tribunal not being a superior court recognised by the Constitution could not exercise criminal jurisdiction.

Source:The Nation

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