The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned indefinitely hearing in the appeal filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Federal government challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal in the trial of Saraki on false assets declaration.
The adjournment was sequel to the request by the government lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, for time to respond to Saraki’s claim in his brief of argument. Jacobs, at the resumed trial yesterday, informed the court that the Senate President had just served on him his response to the cross appeal of the government and as such would need time to study the reply and file his own process and serve same on Saraki as required by law. Saraki’s counsel, Kanu Agabi SAN, however, did not opposed the request for adjournment. Responding, Justice Mohammed Musa Dattijo who led the five-man panel of the apex court, said that the court will not give definite date for hearing until all processes have been filed. Justice Dattijo said that the Registrar of the court will communicate hearing date to parties involved as soon as their processes are confirmed filed and exchanged. Both Saraki and Federal Government are challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which nullified 15 out of 18 count charges filed against Saraki by government for being baseless and frivolous but asked Saraki to open defense on the rest three charges. While Saraki is however praying the Supreme Court to void the entire 18 count charges, the Federal Government on its own cross appeal is praying the apex court to uphold the entire charges against the Senate President for defence. The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where Saraki was arraigned in 2015 by government on 18 count charges of false assets declaration had discharged and acquitted him on the ground that the charges were based on hearsay evidence that could not be relied upon to convict the defendant. Chairman of the tribunal Danladi Yakubu Umar in his ruling in a no- case submission made by Saraki agreed that the charges have no proper foundation in law and struck them out. This prompted the government to move to court of appeal to challenge the tribunal decision. The Tribunal had on March 8 adjourned indefinitely the defence of Saraki in the three count charges pending the time Saraki’s appeal at the Supreme Court would be determined.