Saraki Gets Cct To Hear Motion On Jurisdiction
BEVERLY HILLS, March 18, (THEWILL) – The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Friday succeeded in getting the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, to hear his motion over jurisdiction.
This was as Saraki's lead counsel; Kanu Agabi SAN reeled off 80 names of lawyers who announced their presence in the alleged assets falsification and corruption charges for which the federal government is prosecuting the Senate President.
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN told the tribunal that he has been served with defendant's motion dated 4 March, 2015, arguing that by sections 220, 221 and 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the motion cannot be moved before beginning of hearing of the substantive case.
“The only thing the court can do now is to proceed to trial. I want Your Lordship to determine the issue now,” he said, explaining that the ACJA stipulated that technical objections cannot be raised during trial.
Jacobs added section 396 (2) said after a plea has been taken, the defendant can raise any objection which can only be considered alongside the substantive trial.
The prosecution lawyer maintained that the defendant is challenging the validity of the charges by saying the Attorney General did not have power to file charges against him or that he was not informed before the charges were filed against him.
He urged the tribunal to enforce the ACJA to ensure that justice is done according to the law. Jacob said the court should allow the prosecution to call his witness.
Kanu Agabi, on his part, said the defence is happy to be in court and the opportunity to defend the Senate President but argued that the motion is part of administration of justice and the Tribunal should hear it.
The defence counsel, who said the motion is challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case, reminded the tribunal chairman, Justice Danladi Umar that he ruled last Friday that the motion would be argued today (Friday).
In his ruling, Justice Umar held that the tribunal is ready to hear the motion as anything done without determination of the issue of jurisdiction will be nullity.