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Friday, September 18, 2015

Code of Conduct Tribunal orders Saraki’s arrest

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has ordered for Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki’s arrest.

The bench warrant was issued at the resumption of hearing of the case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Friday, after the Senate President failed to show up before it.

The prosecuting lawyer, Muslim Hassan, had before the recess, asked for the bench warrant to be issued.

In his verdict, Friday afternoon, the tribunal presided over by Justice Danladi Umar issued a bench warrant against Saraki following his refusal to appear in court to face a 13-count criminal charge that was leveled against him by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

However, the senate president who was billed for arraignment this morning, sent his team of lawyers to serve the tribunal with a copy of the ruling of Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, which summoned the Ministry of Justice to appear on Monday to show cause why the trial should be allowed to proceed.

Apparently angered by Saraki’s refusal to show up at the tribunal for the commencement of his prosecution over alleged false declaration of assets, the Ministry of Justice prayed the Justice Umar-led panel to order for his arrest, saying “he cannot sit in the comfort of his chamber and object to his trial in absentia”.

The prosecution further argued that Justice Mohammed lacked the powers to summon ‎the CCT and CCB chairmen, even as it accused Saraki of engaging in “forum shopping” in a desperate bid to scuttle his trial.

Meanwhile, Saraki has through his lawyer, prayed the tribunal to consider his position as the Senate President and hold the execution of the arrest warrant, saying he would be available for trial on Monday.

His plea was trashed by Justice Umar who maintained that the accused person, having sworn to protect the constitution, ought to have shown respect to the tribunal by appearing before it today.

[ , Daily Post ]

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