COURT of Appeal in Abuja yesterday granted the prayer of the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki seeking the deferment of his pending appeal case challenging the competence of the false declaration or asset charges brought against him by the federal government. The Appellate Court by the decision of its full panel of five justices led by Justice Abdul Aboki deferred the appeal till Oct 6. Also, it shifted hearing of the appeal filed by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) challenging his continued trial on unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering till after the annual vacation of the court in September. Though the appeal was slated for hearing, Saraki’s counsel Chief Godwin Kanu Agabi SAN, a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had argued a motion praying the Appellate Court to adjourn hearing of the suit in view of the yearly vacation of the court which began last week. Agabi told the Justices that they deserve their vacation to rest having worked tirelessly in the past one year. He also argued that since the court will not be able to give judgment during the vacation, there was no point hearing the matter now so that judgment in the suit will not be hanging over their heads while on holiday. The position of Saraki was however, vehemently opposed by the federal government which claimed that the Senate President had been granted three adjournments in the matter.
The presiding judge, Justice Abdul Aboki cut-in and demanded from the federal government’s lawyer Mr. Rotimi Jacobs what he stands to lose if Saraki’s request was granted as prayed? However, rather than answering the question, the counsel succumbed and consented that the court defers the matter till after vacation to enable the Justices enjoy their holiday. Justice Aboki in his brief ruling agreed with Saraki and adjourned hearing of the appeal case till October 6 this year. On Dasuki, the appeal slated for hearing yesterday was not heard as the five member panel of justices headed by the presiding Judge, Justice Abdul Aboki ordered the federal government to file and serve a fresh brief of arguments in response to Dasuki’s brief that was regularized yesterday by the court. Justice Aboki said that a date for hearing of the appeal will be communicated to the two parties as soon as the court comes back from its yearly vacation in September. The former NSA had appealed against the ruling of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja which dismissed his application seeking to halt his trial on the ground that the federal government did not obey the bail order granted him by the court. Dasuki, in his application, had asked the federal court to stop government from prosecuting him and to also stop granting indulgence to government due to an alleged disregard for the court order granting him bail.

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