Tuesday, June 21 would be a very busy day for Dr. Bukola Saraki and his lawyers as the Senate President is scheduled to appear before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja for arraignment on charges of forgery. He also has a date at the Code of Conduct Tribunal where he has applied for the removal of the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar from his false and anticipatory asset declaration case.
Saraki, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu along with former Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasu, and his deputy, Benedict Efeturi, will appear before Justice Yusuf Halilu, for arraignment on two counts of forgery and criminal conspiracy.
The four accused were on June 10, charged with criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Standing Rules used for the leadership election of the presiding officers of the Senate in June last year. The offence of conspiracy, according to the Federal Government is punishable under Section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Act; and offence of forgery with “fraudulent intent” punishable under Section 364 of the same law.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal on the other hand had on June 15 adjourned the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, till June 21. The tribunal adjourned for the hearing of a fresh motion filed by Saraki seeking an order of the CCT disqualifying its Chairman, Danladi Umar, from presiding over the case any further.
In filing his application, Saraki accusing Umar of bias based on the remark he made at the last proceedings on June 7, 2016 as he warned the defence against delay tactics. He had said that their delay tactics would not “reduce the consequences the defendant will meet in this tribunal at the end of the trial”.
Saraki, in his fresh application filed by his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), alleged that Umar’s statement would prejudice the outcome of the trial.
Both the FCT High Court and the CCT share a boundary in Jabi, Abuja.
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng