Justice Abdulkadir Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday withdrew from the case and declined to give judgment on enforcement of fundamental human rights instituted before him by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
The judge premised his withdrawal and refusal to deliver judgment in the case slated for yesterday on the ground that an online medium, the Sahara reporters, had made a wild allegation against him in respect of the case.
Justice Kafarati, who fixed yesterday for the verdict in the suit told the lawyers in the matter that the online medium had in its publication alleged that he was compromised to the tune of N2 billion by Saraki to give judgment in his favour.
The judge also said that the medium quoted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as its source of information and that the EFCC source also confirmed to the Sahara reporters that the said N2biilion from Saraki had been found in his bank account.
Justice Kafarati said that the online medium publication was not only condemnable, having been so biased against him, but was also malicious and unwarranted.
“It’s only here in Nigeria that people just wake up and start assassinating the character of their fellow beings wickedly and unjustly simply because there are no strong laws to take care of such people.
“In the instance case, I am already caught in between two devils because any attempt to give the judgment in this matter, even though it is ready for today, but the attempt can be used by the wicked people to justify their malicious publication against my person.
“I was even called a high level corrupt Judge and this is very unfortunate that a publication from a medium that is supposed to be objective was dished out in the most reckless manner.
“I regard them as people without conscience who derive pleasure in publishing what they know that is not true simply because they wanted to assassinate a character.
“In view of this grievous allegation, even though my judgment in the matter is ready, I have no option than to disqualify myself from proceeding to deliver the judgment because the malicious publication had already polluted the minds of the general publication.
“So I hereby disqualify myself from this case and the case file shall be returned to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta for possible re-assignment to another Judge.”
Saraki had filed a legal action at the Federal High Court to seek enforcement of his fundamental human rights to fair hearing and trial on the falsification of assets criminal charges brought against him by the federal government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
Saraki, through his lawyer, Mr. Raphael Oluyede, claimed in the suit that he cannot get justice from the CCT chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar, who is being investigated by EFCC and who is being used by the same EFCC and its lawyer to prosecute him.
The Senate President claimed that in utter breach of the law, his assets form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, was investigated by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFC, as against those of CCB empowered to do so in law.
He also claimed that, apart from investigating his assets form against the law, the EFCC went ahead to engage its lawyer to file a 13-count criminal charge against him and also deployed its lawyer in person of Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, to put him on trial instead of the CCB mandated by the constitution to do so.
Saraki had asked the Federal High Court to set aside the charges against him, having flouted the due process of law and having been brought in breach of his fundamental rights to fair trial.
Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati, after listening to arguments from EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs and that of Saraki on March 1, 2016 fixed yesterday to make pronouncement on the court action.

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  • The Analyst

    Storee Storee, STOREEEEEEE!
    Only in Nigeria.
    Why cant Mr Judge take Sahara Reporters and EFCC to court for defarmation of character?