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Corruption: Saraki’s Trial Stalled As Tribunal Bans Cameras

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), hearing the Senate President Bukola Saraki’s alleged false declaration of assets on Wednesday, has banned the use of cameras in its courtroom during proceedings before it adjourned the trial to November 5 and 6.

The tribunal’s decision followed a pending judgment of the Court of Appeal on the trial of the Senate President.

The prosecuting counsel‎, Rotimi Jacobs, had prayed the tribunal to adjourn the trial out of respect for the appeal court, which reserved judgment on the suit filed by Saraki to stop his trial for alleged false declaration of assets.

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On his part, Saraki’s lawyer, Mahmud Magaji, argued that the trial should be adjourned sine die.

Reacting, Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar objected, saying the defendant might “go and relax”.

He, therefore, gave a two-week time-off, while ruling that trial would continue on November 5 and 6.

The embattled Senate President was then ordered to take his seat in the accused box after Mahmud Magaji, his counsel, failed to stop the action.

Magaji had made an application that the trial be halted on the grounds that there was a pending suit at the appeal court, which is yet to deliver judgment on the matter. ‎

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But Jacobs countered his argument, stating that Saraki must take his seat in the accused box before any application could be made, prompting the chairman to ruled that Senate President should step into the accused box.

However, the Tribunal issued an order that the use of cameras in its courtroom during proceedings is now outlawed.
It would be recalled that cameras were allowed when Saraki was arraigned in September before the tribunal by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Saraki had been unsuccessful in his efforts to stop his trial at the CCT.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who was initially handling the case involving Saraki, CCB and CCT, withdrew from it, citing a “crisis of confidence”. ‎
On Monday, the appeal court had adjourned ruling on the case indefinitely.
Presently, there is a heavy presence of the Police and men of the Department of State Services, DSS.

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