© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Saraki’s Trial At The CCT Stalls Again
The trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal has again been postponed.
Saraki is facing an 18-count charge of alleged false asset declaration dating back to his time as Kwara State governor.
The trial had earlier been postponed from April 18 to April 25 but when journalists arrived the Tribunal on Tuesday, they were told that the hearing has been shifted yet again to April 27.
Both postponements, however, have been on the request of the prosecution team.
The head of media relations at the CCT, Ibrahim Alhassan, told journalists that the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, demanded the adjournment saying that he was indisposed.
“The first time, he said it is his fourth prosecution witness that could not make it. Now it is himself,” Alhassan said.
Saraki’s trial began in September 2015 and has suffered numerous setbacks mostly at the instance of the prosecution.
This development seem to be against the CCT’s practice direction manual for the year 2017, which states that hearing of cases will be on a daily bases.
“Hearing of cases shall be from day-to-day bases as the diary of the tribunal may permit for the purpose of fair and speedy trial,” read the manual which was signed by the Tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar.
He further stated that the start time for trials shall be at 9.00 a.m, every working day, and that no attempt to frustrate the speedy dispensation of matters at the tribunal would be tolerated.
Saraki is not the only high profile personality facing charges at the CCT; Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court also had an 8-count charge filed against him at the tribunal by the federal government.
Ngwuta, whose trial is scheduled to commence on July 5, was also accused of failing to declare landed properties and luxury cars belonging to him.