Nigeria: Saraki’s Code of Conduct Trial Postponed

Another reprieve on Tuesday came the way of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) billed to resume his trial for alleged false assets declaration today has put off the trial till after September when the tribunal will resume from recess.

The court had fixed today for ruling on Saraki’s application to get the CCT’s Chairman, Danladi Umar, to recuse himself on the grounds that he had descended into the arena and was no longer in a position to hold the balance of justice.

Yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the tribunal, Alhaji Ibrahim Al-hassan, in a statement said the tribunal would not sit until September due to the ongoing yearly vacation of courts and tribunals across the country.

The press statement did not however give a specific date the trial and the ruling would resume in September but Al-hassan hinted that the date would be fixed as soon as the tribunal returns from vacation, and that parties would be duly communicated on a new date.

Aside Saraki, others who are also to wait till September to know their fates in the charges of false assets declaration brought against them by the federal government, include former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, whose judgment had earlier been fixed for July 19 and a former Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi, who had also prayed for the disqualification of Umar on the grounds that he demanded N10 million bribe from him.

Owolabi had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the alleged N10 million bribe demand, prompting the anti-graft agency to summon and interrogate the CCT boss.

The statement from CCT read in part: “The Chairman, CCT, Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, on Tuesday adjourned all sittings scheduled for this week and those to come within July and August till after the resumption from recess to be embarked by the tribunal’s judges soon.

“The decision was taken due to the ongoing roundtable discussion involving CCT and other critical stakeholders within and outside the country, to develop the Code of Ethics and Practice Directions for the CCT to ensure fair and speedy trials, sponsored by European Union (EU) and implemented by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“He however assured litigants currently with cases before the court, would have their new dates shortly after the vacation; September, which that they would be communicated to them appropriately.

“The tribunal regrets the pains caused by the sudden change.”

Source: This Day