The Court of Appeal in Abuja Thursday formally assumed jurisdiction in the appeal case brought before it by the Senate President, Olubukola Saraki to challenge his trial by the Federal Government on alleged false assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The appellate court in its decision, granted accelerated hearing into the suit of Saraki in which he is asking the court to stop his continued trial at the CCT pending the determination of his case.
Justice Moore Adumein granted the speedy hearing after listening to the fierce argument of counsel to Saraki, Mahmoud Magaji SAN, on the need for the matter to be expeditiously determined because of the utmost urgency involved.
Saraki through the counsel is praying the Court of
Appeal for an order to stay, stop or halt his trial on a 13-count charge of false assets declaration charges against by the CCT pending the hearing and
determination of his motion on notice pending before the appellate court.
The appeal by the Senate President followed the ruling by the CCT that the Federal Government has power to initiate a criminal charge against him even in the absence of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice vested with powers by the constitution to initiate such trial.
Chairman of the tribunal Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar had in the ruling last month held that in the absence of a substantive Attorney General of the
Federation, the Solicitor General of the Federation has constitutional powers to execute or carry out the functions of the AGF in his absence.
The tribunal also held that any lawyer in the Federal Ministry of Justice or a private legal practitioner has power to prosecute on behalf of the Federal Government once such counsel has the mandate of the Solicitor General of the Federation.
However, dis-satisfied with the ruling, Saraki through his counsel had stormed the Court of Appeal to ventilate his anger on the decision of the CCT.
Among others, Saraki asked the appellate to halt the proceedings at the lower tribunal since both the Court of Appeal and the tribunal cannot by law be hearing same cases at the same time.
He pleaded that the CCT be ordered to stop any further action on issues bordering on charges preferred against him by the Federal Government pending the outcome of the appellate court decision in his appeal.
Justice Adumein apart from granting accelerated hearing to the appellant, he also fixed October 16 for definite hearing of the case.