Court strikes out Saraki’s motion to stop trial at CCT



Dasuki wants ruling on detention set aside
• Appeals by Metuh, Kanu for hearing May 5

The Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday struck out a motion filed by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) pending the determination of his appeal.

The motion was struck out following its withdrawal by Saraki’s lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), who did not state reasons for the action.

Originally, the motion was slated for hearing but Agabi told the court that he was withdrawing it. He apologised for making the justices to go through the voluminous processes he filed in respect of the appeal. The presiding judge, Justice Abdul Aboki, subsequently struck out the motion.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the substantive appeal. Justice Aboki said the adjourned date shall be communicated to parties in the matter as soon as all the court processes had been filed and exchanged by parties.

The Senate President, in the substantive appeal, is challenging his trial at the CCT on the ground that due process was not followed before the 13-count charge was slammed on him.

Saraki also held that he was not invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to make a statement on the alleged discrepancies in the assets declaration forms he submitted to the CCB as required by law before he was arraigned before the tribunal.

Also yesterday, the appeal filed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, was adjourned to May 5, to enable the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Sylvanus Tahir, file his brief of arguments on the issues raised by Metuh in his appeal.

Metuh is asking the Appeal Court to set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court which held that he has a case to answer in the money laundering and corruption charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

Also, Destra Investment Limited, a company allegedly owned by Metuh has engaged Tochukwu Onwubuifor (SAN) to represent it in the appeal filed over the same ruling. Dr. Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN) has withdrawn from representing Destra Investment Limited.

The appeal filed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu could not go on yesterday as it was not slated on the course list.

Justice Aboki, therefore, adjourned the appeal to May 5 for hearing.

Meanwhile, former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja, praying it to set aside the judgment of an Abuja High Court.

The High Court, in its recent judgement, declined to void Dasuki’s arrest and detention by the Federal Government since December last year in spite of an existing court order that admitted him to bail.

In the appeal filed by his counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu, Dasuki is asking the appellate court to stop his trial in the criminal charges of money laundering and corruption brought against him until the government has purged itself of alleged contempt of court.

The appeal was in response to the ruling giving by Justice Baba Yusuf last month whereby the judge refused to stop Dasuki’s trial on the ground that his detention was at the instance of the Department of the State Security Service (DSS) and not the EFCC.

In the notice of appeal, the appellant is claiming that the Abuja High Court erred in law by not holding the fact that the DSS detaining him and the EFCC responsible for his trial on corruption charges are both agents of the Federal Government which is the complainant in the charges against him.

The ex-NSA therefore urged the appeal court to set aside the ruling of Justice Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on ground of miscarriage of justice.

While asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling, Dasuki asked the Appellate Court to discharge him from the criminal charge and to also stop indulging government in his trial until the bail granted him by the High Court has been obeyed.

His ground of appeal is that a party in contempt of court has no right before court to advance any cause.

The notice of appeal was accompanied with a motion on notice which prays the appellate court to stay proceedings in his trial at the lower courts pending the determination of his substantive appeal.

However, when the case came up for hearing yesterday, the appellate court could not go ahead following the inability of the Federal Government (respondent) to file its brief of argument.

The government’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told the three-member panel of Justices of the Appeal Court, headed by Justice Abdul Aboki that the appellant’s brief of argument was served on him last week and that by the practice of the court, he has 10 days to file his own respondent’s brief of arguments.

Jacobs then asked for a brief adjournment to enable him file his brief of argument.

Justice Aboki consequently granted the request but held that the adjourned date would be reserved until all processes have been filed and exchanged by parties involved in the matter. According to him, the date would be communicated to the lawyers when fixed.

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