CCT adjourns Saraki's trial indefinitely pending appeal at Supreme Court

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Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday adjourned the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki indefinitely.

However, Umar dismissed the prosecution's objection and held that "the tribunal has chose to adjourn sine die (indefinitely) pending the outcome of the appeals at the Supreme Court".

The Court of Appeal had partly set aside the CCT's ruling on the no-case submission which Saraki had filed after the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered documentary exhibits.

"The tribunal has chose to adjourn sine die (indefinitely) pending the outcome of the appeals at the Supreme Court", Umar ruled after dismissing the prosecution's objection to an adjournment on Thursday.

"Since the supreme court is giving an accelerated hearing of the appeals, we will be hesitant to proceed pending when the appeals are determined".

The defendant is being tried on three of the 18-count charge of false assets declaration filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

"Therefore, this tribunal has made a decision to tarry awhile so that integrity of the Supreme Court will not be toyed with".

"You should address us on whether it is not proper for this tribunal to await the decision of the Supreme Court on issues that parties have raised with respect to counts 4, 5 and 6 of the charge before us. And section 305 also permits the court to go ahead assuming it is an issue of reference", he added.

Umar had asked the parties in the matter to address the tribunal on the issue of the pending appeals. "Our appeal at the supreme court is fettered by this proceeding".

"The tribunal summons us to come on February 6, we even thought the tribunal will say they have received our letter that we are already before the Supreme Court but the tribunal did not tell us that".

He had therefore prayed for an adjournment of the matter, but the prosecution objected his prayer.

"We must be mindful of the integrity of the supreme court".

Counts 4 and 5 border on an alleged false declaration of his assets at the end of his tenure as governor of Kwara state.

"This matter was fixed for today to enable parties to adopt their final written addresses".

"He requested the court to defer hearing as any decision will render the outcome of the appeal at Supreme Court nurgatory and foist a fait-acompli on the parties".

Although, Saraki, through his counsel, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN had at the commencement of proceedings on that day told the Tribunal that he has lined up four witnesses to testify in his favour, he however, made a U-turn when the legal team chose to limit themselves to the first witness.