Corruption trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, rescheduled

Corruption trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, rescheduled

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has rescheduled the corruption trial of the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, which was initially billed to resume on March 10.

A statement,Tuesday, by the spokesperson for the tribunal, Ibraheem Al-hassan, said the shift became necessary following the request of Mr. Saraki’s lead counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), asking that the hearing be moved by a day.
The trial will now commence on March 11, the tribunal said.
In a February 26 letter to the tribunal, Mr. Agabi had written: ‘‘I write as lead Counsel to the above Defendant to apply that the matter which is now scheduled to come up on the 10th day of March 2016, subject to the convenience of the Honourable Tribunal and learned Counsel for the prosecution, be taken on the 11th day of March, 2016, due to my earlier and urgent commitments in other courts on the 10th.
‘‘I will sincerely appreciate the indulgence of the Tribunal to accommodate me in this way’’.
The lawyer apologised for the inconvenience the shift might cause the tribunal and other counsel in the matter.
Mr. Saraki was docked by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge on September 18 for alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.
He was specifically accused of deliberately manipulating the asset declaration form he submitted prior to his assumption of his current position as senate president.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges even as he subtly attributed his predicament to his emergence as senate president on June 9 against the wishes of his party, the All Progressives Congress.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation had dragged Mr. Saraki before the tribunal, saying the offences he committed violated Nigeria’s Code of Conduct for public officers.
Mr. Saraki, who has denied any wrongdoing, had challenged the tribunal’s jurisdiction and constitution up to the Supreme Court which struck out his appeal on February 12.

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