The senate president of Nigeria, Bukola Saraki has failed for the umpteenth time in his bid to halt his ongoing trial at the Criminal code tribunal as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed his application asking the court to nullify his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Mr Saraki whose similar appeal had previously been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, approached the Federal High Court, asking it to declare his trial at the CCT a violation of his fundamental rights.
The trial judge, Mr. Kafarati held that Mr. Saraki was wrong to have returned the case to a smaller court, after it was dismissed by a higher court and his appeal can be likened to an attempt to stall his trial, stressing that the CCT is a constitutional body in the discharge of its legal obligation which should not be interfered with by a court of law. The judge further noted that Saraki’s appeal has no constitutional backing but a mere sentimental claim that had no basis in law. The judge stated that “If the court grants the application, there will be conflict with the ruling of the appellate court…..his court cannot interfere with the proceedings before the tribunal; it cannot also interfere with the duties of the respondents which have been imposed on them by law. This court cannot interfere with the proceedings before the tribunal; it cannot also interfere with the duties of the respondents which have been imposed on them by law. There are criminal procedure laws that put in place the method of protecting the accused. I do not see the need to go to the merit of the case,” the judge said.
The senate president has lost several attempts to stall his trial at the CCT. On 5th February, his application challenging the Jurisdiction of the CCT was nullified by the Supreme Court. On March 24, a day after the case was ordered to be continued at the FHC, the tribunal dismissed an application by counsel to the Senate President, Kanu Agabi, that the Code of Conduct Bureau should have invited Mr. Saraki to clarify the allegations against him before the commencement of trial. The Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar, in that ruling, stated that the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, 1989 allows the Senate President to raise any clarifications at the level of the tribunal.
Mr. Danladi said by law, the CCB could receive complaints of breach of the Act and refer such complaints to the Tribunal, provided that it will allow the person involved to give a statement affirming or denying the said misconduct.