The trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has been put on hold following an order of the Supreme Court to suspend trial pending the determination of Saraki’s appeal.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Public Relations Officer of the tribunal, Mr Ibraheem Alhassan, made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday.
Alhassan said that the decision to suspend hearing was to show due respect to the apex court’s directive for stay of proceedings.
“The case was slated for hearing on Nov. 23, but as a mark of respect for the apex court, the tribunal decided to tarry a while pending the determination of Saraki’s appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him,” he said.
NAN recalls that Justice John Fabiyi, leading a five-man panel of justices of the apex court, ordered the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal to suspend further hearing in the matter.
Fabiyi held that the stay of proceeding was to enable the apex court hear and determine the substantive appeal brought by Saraki.
In a unanimous ruling, the apex court held that “It is imperative to state that all the parties, including the Code of Conduct Tribunal,
should tarry a while to enable this court determine the appeal before it.
“In effect, further proceeding at the CCT should be stayed pending the hearing of the appeal.
“Hearing date will be communicated to all the parties”.
The Supreme Court, however, gave both parties seven days each to file and serve their briefs in order to ensure accelerated hearing.
Following this development, the Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), gave an undertaking that the Federal Government would not do anything until the Supreme Court had reached a final decision on the appeal.
Jacobs urged the court to give the matter accelerated hearing in line with Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
NAN recalls that Saraki is facing a13-count criminal charge, to which he had pleaded not guilty.