The trial of Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on alleged falsification of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has been adjourned till Wednesday, April 6.
During hearing on Tuesday the counsel to the Senate President, Mr Paul Usoro, had asked for an adjournment on the basis that an appeal had been entered before the appellate court. The defendant filed a motion of stay of proceedings which is before the Registrar of the court, he told the Tribunal.
Mr Usoro said that the process of appeal had been transmitted to the CCT and the record of appeal was before the Tribunal.
He explained that the prayer for adjournment was to essentially allow the Court of Appeal to entertain and arrive at a decision in the appeal, which it had graciously fixed a clear date of April 26, 2016 to hear.
The Senate President’s counsel also requested that the case should be adjourned on the ground that he was appearing for the first time in he case and that he was not fully briefed of the matter.
But the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, opposed the application.
According to him, the CCT had adjourned the matter for trial to commence and he was ready with his witnesses to commence trial.
He said that the defence was aware that what they had filed could not stop the proceedings.
He said that the request for an adjournment was not based on the motion served on the prosecution but on an application of stay of proceedings pending before the Court of Appeal.
After the counter comments, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) ruled that it had jurisdiction in the case of alleged falsification of assets brought against Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The Tribunal said the natural thing to do was to proceed with the trial in spite of a request for an adjournment by counsel to the Senate President, Mr Usoro.
After that ruling the Tribunal proceeded with the hearing, with one of the witnesses, Micheal Wekpas, a detective superintendent with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) giving a testimony of his involvement in the matter.
He said the anti-graft agency had received several petitions shortly after the second tenure of the Senate President as Governor of Kwara State.
One of such petitions, according to him, came from a group, Kwara Freedom Network, alleging misappropriation, corruption and money laundering.