CCT bows to Supreme Court order, halts Saraki’s trial
THE trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has been put on hold following an order of the Supreme Court to halt the exercise pending the determination of his appeal.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted CCT’s Public Relations Officer, Ibraheem Alhassan, as making the disclosure yesterday in Abuja.
Alhassan said that the decision to suspend hearing was to honour the apex court’s directive for stay of proceedings.
“The case was slated for hearing on November 23, but as a mark of respect for the apex court, the tribunal decided to tarry a while pending the determination of Saraki’s appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him,” he said.
NAN recalls that Justice John Fabiyi, leading a five-man panel of justices of the court, ordered the Justice Danladi Umar-led CCT to suspend further hearing in the matter.
Fabiyi held that the stay of proceeding was to enable the apex court hear and determine the substantive appeal brought by Saraki.
In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court held that: “It is imperative to state that all the parties, including the Co
de of Conduct Tribunal, should tarry a while to enable this court determine the appeal before it.
“In effect, further proceedings at the CCT should be stayed pending the hearing of the appeal.
“Hearing date will be communicated to all the parties,” he ruled.
The apex court, however, gave both parties seven days each to file and serve their briefs in order to ensure accelerated hearing.
Following the development, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), gave an undertaking that the Federal Government would not do anything until the Supreme Court had reached a final decision on the appeal.
Jacobs urged the court to give the matter accelerated hearing in line with Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Saraki is facing a13-count criminal charge, to which he had pleaded not guilty