CCT Trial: Chief Judge bows to Saraki’s request

By Amako Nneji April 12, 2016 16:04

CCT Trial: Chief Judge bows to Saraki’s request

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has acceded to the request by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to direct one of the judges serving under him, Justice Abdul Kafarati, to deliver judgment in his pending case.

Saraki, who is standing trial for alleged false assets declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, had sued the Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar and others involved in his trial, before the Federal High Court.

Related: Saraki releases strict condition for his Resignation

Owing to allegation that N2 billion bribe was traced to his bank account, Justice Kafarati, disqualified himself from the suit seeking ‎to stop the ongoing trial of the Senate President before the CCT.

Kafarati, had said he was left with no option than to hands-off the matter after his attention was drawn to two online publications alleging that he has been compromised by the Senate President.

“In light of the allegation, the right and appropriate thing to do is to disqualify myself and return the case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another Judge”, Justice Kafarati  had held.

Before now, Saraki had approached the high court, praying it to declare that the chairman of the CCT is not fit to preside over the 13-court charge preferred against him by the federal government.

He told the court that Justice Umar is still being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations bordering on corruption.

In his fundamental right enforcement suit, Saraki, said he would not be accorded fair hearing by the tribunal, saying the charge against him was instigated by the EFCC.

Sahara Reporters sources, revealed that the assurance that Kafarati would give the judgment is the reason Saraki is still in office despite mind-boggling evidence of corruption against him by the witness of the EFCC last week.

Saraki’s lawyer, Prince Ajibola Oluyede, who is a known ally of Justice Kafarati, has also sent a petition to the Chief Judge insisting that he allows Justice Kafarati to deliver his judgment.

Justice Kafarati is the next in line to become the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Saraki had maintained that he has been “denied the right to be heard before the case was referred to the CCT”.

Saraki had said it would amount to a violation of his right to fair hearing under section 36 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, for him to be compelled to face trial before a tribunal whose “impartiality and fairness cannot be guaranteed”.

Related: Senators divided as APC releases statement on Saraki