Saraki case: Judge withdraws over online report

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court
in Abuja, on Wednesday withdrew from the case
filed by Saraki against the Code of Conduct Tribunal
and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
The court therefore ordered that the case file should
be returned to the Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice
Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday,
Justice Mohammed attributed his decision to return
the case file to what he described as “negative
reports” on the case.
The judge expressed displeasure at the reports in
the media that he ordered the CCB and CCT to stop
the prosecution of Saraki, adding that the reports
had already created a negative opinion in the mind
of many Nigerians.
Precisely, two weeks ago, Justice Mohammed had
summoned the CCB and the CCT over the planned
arraignment of Saraki by the CCB.
Justice Mohammed had while granting the motion
ex parte that was argued before him, directed the
CCB and the CCT to appear before him on
September 21, 2015 and show cause why the
interim injunction being sought by the Senate
President should not be granted.
He also directed that all the plaintiffs should be
served with the motion ex parte and the
accompanied affidavit while hearing notice should
be served on all the respondents.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said
he can be impeached if he interferes in the Code of
Conduct Tribunal case against Saraki over charges
of false assets declaration.
Saraki, on September 11, had been served a 13-
count by the Office of the Attorney General of the
Federation. The Senate President responded by
calling it a witch-hunt.
But in a statement on September 20, the Presidency
denied any responsibility for the Senate President’s
trial and described the attempt to link Buhari to
Saraki’s trial as unacceptable.
The Presidency had argued that the trial of the
Senate President was purely a judicial and
constitutional issue.
Buhari, in an intervie w with Sahara TV, which was
monitored by one of punch correspondents on
Wednesday, however, said he could not interfere in
the trial because it would be unconstitutional to do
so.
He said, “What has the President got to do with it as
a person? The case is in court. Do Nigerians expect
me to tell the Chief Justice to tell whichever court
that they shouldn’t try the Senate President?
“Do Nigerians know the constitution of their country;
that the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive have
got their roles within the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria? Then how do they expect me to
interfere? I can be successfully impeached if I do
it.”
Asked if he would pass any vote of confidence in
the Senate President, in the light of the backing of
Saraki by 83 senators on Tuesday, the President
said, “That would depend on the outcome of the
trial.”
Responding to questions about his current
relationship with the Senate President, Buhari said
that he had been communicating with Saraki through
letter.
“There are some appointments which the Senate
has to approve and I cannot remember how many
letters I have personally written to him, because it
is constitutional.
“There are people I want to work with but I cannot
work with them unless the National Assembly
approves. So, I have been writing to the Senate
President and to the Speaker of the House (of
Representatives) and it is constitutional,” he said.

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