The false assets declaration trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal is currently in its seventh session since the commencement of hearings.
Saraki, who’s often accompanied to the Conduct Bureau by dozens of Senators, on Tuesday, had 15 of his colleagues in his entourage.
Some of the Senators present are Sam Anyanwu, Dino Melaye, Tayo Alasoadura, and Andy Uba.
As opposed to the hearing of March 11 when he went to court with over 80 lawyers, Saraki came along with 90 lawyers on Tuesday.
Saraki’s counsel, Paul Usoro (SAN), announced the names of the lawyers which include three Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
The lead counsel of the Senate President, Kanu Agabi, is however, absent at the Tribunal, as he’s away in Akwa Ibom, where he’s stranded as a result of flight difficulties.
Justice Umar arrived the courtroom around 10.31 am and immediately set off proceedings. The Senate President entered the dock immediately after the case was called.
Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecution counsel then announced his appearance. The Defence Counsel is being led by Paul Usoro. He is leading a team of over 90 lawyers. He told the Tribunal that Agabi who travelled to Akwa Ibom could not return Abua due to flight difficulties.
Jacobs said he was served motion for stay of proceedings about 30 minutes to the commencement of trial. He asked the court to proceed with the trial, arguing that, a motion filed when a court is a about to proceed cannot stop the trial. He also said the motion was filed today 5 April. “My Lord, we are ready,” said Rotimi.
But the defence counsel said the request for adjournment was not based on the process filed in court. He said the application was based on the ruling of the court of 24 March, 2016 which has been appealed.
He said the application for stay of proceedings filed before the Court of Appeal is already in the records of the Tribunal and pending before the Court of Appeal. The motion, he said was for the court to stay proceedings of the Tribunal.
He also informed the Tribunal that the Court of Appeal has already fixed 26 April for the hearing of the application which he said is only some days away.