We reported it earlier today that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, who were being charged by the federal government on offenses bordering on conspiracy and forgery, were pictured appearing at the federal high court in the federal capital, Abuja as their trial continues.
The lawmaker’s trial was reportedly stalled on Wednesday, because Aliyu Umar, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, said he had not prepared his response to a fresh motion by the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
According to Premium Times, at the opening of session on Wednesday, Umar informed the court that he had just received a motion from the defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court in respect of the charges against them and asking that the case be dismissed, adding that since the matter has to do with the fundamental right of parties to fair hearing, he needs to properly prepare his response to the motion.
“Just now I became aware of a motion by the first defendant and served on us on September 26. The motion is fundamental because it is asking your lordship to decline jurisdiction and quash the charges. It is a short notice.
“I have not filed anything. It is fundamental to fair hearing. Under the circumstances, I will ask for an adjournment to enable me to respond to the motion.
“Honestly, I’m not ready for this motion. If it is only just two days, grant us the adjournment to respond to the motion,” he said, adding that he had some internal issues he needed to attend to, before responding to the motion.
However, the counsel to the defendants (Saraki and Ekweremady) objected the application for adjournment, and also asked the court to refuse the application, describing it as lacking in merit
“On behalf of the third defendant I submit that the application has no merit. If the Attorney-General has not deemed it fit to pass the entire case file to the counsel, then we should be allowed to move our motion. We are ready to proceed,” said Paul Erokoro, counsel to Saraki.
Joseph Daodu, counsel to Ekweremadu, the fourth defendant, also opposed the application. “On our part we are ready to go,” he said “We oppose the application for adjournment.”
After listening to the parties, the judge Yusuf Haliru adjourned the case to October 7 to hearing of the motions and trial.