Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, summoned the Federal Ministry of Justice, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Mr. Sam Saba and that of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Justice Danladi Umar, to appear before the court on September 21, to show cause why Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki should be prosecuted.
Saraki is facing a 13-count charge bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets, levelled against him by the CCB.
Mohammed also summoned the deputy director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. M.S. Hassan, who signed the charge against Saraki. The court order was sequel to an ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/775/15, which was filed and moved in chamber, yesterday, by Saraki’s lawyer, Mr. Mahmud Magaji (SAN).
“An order is hereby made directing the Respondents to appear before this court on Monday, September 21, 2015, and show cause why the motion for an order of injunction being sought by the plaintiff/applicant should not be made by the court,” Justice Mohammed held in his ruling.
“All the respondents should be served with the Originating Summons filed in this suit, its accompanying affidavit, the motion-on-notice for interlocutory order of injunction, the motion ex-parte for interim order of injunction, the affidavit of urgency and all the exhibits attached to the various affidavits filed.”
The court which relied on provisions of Order 26, Rule 10 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, further directed that hearing notice should be served on all the respondents to compel their attendance in court on that date.
Already, Saraki has lined up a consortium of 12 senior lawyers, including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, to represent him before the court. His legal team is led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. J.B. Daudu, SAN.
He argued that going by a 1985 decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Attorney-General of Kaduna vs Hassan, recorded in Part 8 of the Nigeria Weekly Law Report, NWLR, the Solicitor-General of the Federation cannot exercise the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He maintained that in the absence of a substantive AGF, the charge entered against him before the CCT amounted to a nullity.
“By section 24(2) of the CCB and Tribunal Act, the power to charge and arraign can only be exercised where there is an incumbent AGF. This position of the law was further fortified by Paragraph 18 of the Third Schedule of the CCB and Tribunal Act”, Saraki contended.
The Senate president is praying the court for: “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st-4th Respondents, their officers, servants, agents and privies from taking any further step culminating in arraignment and or preferring a charge against the applicant, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
“A declaration that in light of Section 24(1) of the CCB and Tribunal Act, Cap C15, LFN, 2010, the 1st defendant has not complied with the provisions of the Third Schedule to the Act before preferring a charge against the plaintiff.
“A declaration that in view of the provisions of Section 24(1) and 24(2) of the CCB and Tribunal Act, Cap C15, LFN 2010, the defendants cannot proceed to arraign the plaintiff at the CCT in the Charge No: CCT/ABJ/ 01/2015 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki.
“A declaration that charge No: CCT/ABJ/ 01/2015 between the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki, filed at the CCT against the plaintiff is not valid and in the absence of a substantive Attorney-General of the Federation.
“An interim injunction of this honourable court directing the parties in this suit to maintain status quo ante without any further over-reaching actions on each other, and to return to their former positions prior to this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice and substantive originating summons, filed before this honourable court”.