Court dismisses Saraki’s fresh bid to stop trial

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday dismissed a fresh application by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Justice Ibrahim Buba held that he lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

He said it ought to have been filed in Abuja where the cause of action took place.

The judge said Saraki could not prove that his rights were about to be violated in Lagos.

“He has to proffer the reason for the court to hold that his right is about to be violated in Lagos State. The key word is ‘state’,” said the judge.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Inspector-General of Police were the respondents.

Others were – the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the CCT, its chairman Justice Danladi Umar, and members Mr. Ataedze Adza, Mr. Sam Saba, Mohammed Diri and Mr. M.S. Hassan.

Saraki, through his lawyer Ajibola Oluyede, had sought a declaration that his trial at the CCT falls short of the requirements of Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.

He said there was “clear appearance of bias” against him, as well as an “apparent pursuit of a pre-determined agenda for the humiliation and conviction of the applicant.”

The Senate President sought an order nullifying the charges at the CCT, and an order restraining the tribunal from continuing with his trial.

The applicant prayed the court to restrain the AGF, EFCC, Saba, Diri and Hassan from continuing with the trial at CCT or any other judicial forum.

He further sought a declaration that the “obvious subjugation and use of the respondents against the applicant for the political objectives of the ruling political party at the federal level, the All Progressives Congress, amounts to an exercise of executive power for ulterior motives and not for the public good.”

According to Oluyede, the respondents are humiliating and prosecuting Saraki on trumped up charges “with the intention of securing his removal, impeachment and or resignation from office as Senate President.”

He said the respondents’ actions constituted an infringement of the applicant’s fundamental rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and to be given a fair hearing by an impartial tribunal.

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