The Code of Conduct Tribunal today ruled to continued hearing of alleged breached of code of conduct and corruption charges slammed against the Senate President Dr Bukola Abubakar Saraki.
The Panel, chaired by Hon Danladi Yakubu Umar said in Abuja that the Tribunal having consider all the arguments, decided that the matter shall continue and he assured that the Defence will not suffer any miscarriage of justice or harm in any way, if the tribunal proceed with the trial, his right is guarantee and protected by the Tribunal as the tribunal is a sacred institution which took an oath to do justice to all.
He said the Tribunal hereby on the strength of the provision of section 305(b) which said ‘‘Conclude and postpone the verdict until such time as the question before the Supreme Court has been considered and decided’’.
He added ‘‘this is the essence of enactment of Administrative Criminal Justice Act 2015 to expeditiously trash cases in a short quality time which of course affords the parties opportunity to present and defence themselves’’.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the day’s proceeding, the prosecution counsel led by Rotimi Jacob (SAN), reported that the Court of Appeal had upheld the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to try criminal matters and also the quorum of the tribunal as it were was okayed by the court of Appeal, he therefore urged compliant to the judgement.
He also argued that the intendment or the spirit of the Administration of Criminal Justice system 2015 is to ensure speedy dispensation of justice which is given to Nigeria by the law makers who incidentally were in the court.
While the Defence Counsel, led by Abubakar Mahmud Magaji (SAN), hinged his argument on the fact that since application is before the Supreme Court the tribunal should tarry a while for the appellate court.
The defence cited cases of AG Fed V Fafunwa, Onikoyi 2006 (18) NWLR page 57, also the case of Achebo V Mbanefo, which alluded the fact that when matter is pending at the appellate Court, the lower court should stand down on it proceeding pending the pronouncement of the superior court.
Upon the ruling, the defence Counsel angrily walkout the court and declined to continued their service to their client, the matter continued and the Tribunal sorted whether the defence can defend himself, which he pleaded with the Tribunal to give him a respites of one month to look for legal team to represent him, as he is not a lawyer but a medical professional.
The Tribunal adjourned to matter to 19 November, 205 to enable the defence to look for a counsel to represent him.
Head, Press & Public Relations.