Embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki is back in Abuja as against reports that he was hiding.
According to his spokesman, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, the senate president did not leave the country but had traveled to Ilorin and is back in Abuja.
However, when asked whether Saraki will appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) today to face trial over alleged false declaration of assets, Olaniyonu told Vanguard: “I can’t answer that question. It is a legal matter, only his lawyer will answer but you know there are three angles to the matter. You have the Federal High Court, CCT and Court of Appeal.”
The newspaper reported that a source close to the Senate President, yesterday, stressed that Saraki would not be comfortable to appear before the CCT today due to “the hurried way the Justice Danladi Umar-led panel issued a bench warrant against him on Friday based on a mere oral application”.
The source from the senate president’s legal team who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on his behalf, said Saraki would rather prefer to appear before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja who is presiding over the suit seeking to halt the proceeding of the CCT.
Justice Mohammed had on Thursday adjourned hearing of Saraki’s suit against both the tribunal, the CCB, the Ministry of Justice and the deputy director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. M.S. Hassan, who signed the charge against the Senate President, till today. Despite the pending case in court, the CCT went ahead to order Saraki’s arrest for failure to appear before it on Friday.
“You will recall that whereas the CCT commenced its sitting on Friday, the same day it hurriedly issued a bench warrant against the Senate President, Justice Mohammed of the Federal High Court had earlier on Thursday delivered a ruling that ought to have put the proceeding of the CCT in abeyance,” the source told Vanguard.
“Justice Mohammed was categorical when he summoned the Chairmen of both the CCT and the Code of Conduct Bureau to appear before him today to show cause. When you are asked to come and show cause, it means that you should come and adduce reasons why you should be allowed to proceed with a planned action.
“The record before the Federal High Court which is a superior court to the CCT shows that the subject matter of the ex-parte motion marked FHC/ABJ/CS/775/15, bothers on the legal propriety of the proceeding before the tribunal.
“If a court of competent jurisdiction had asked you to come and show cause why you should be allowed to do a specific thing, and you are notified about the ruling of the court, yet you go ahead to do exactly the same thing the plaintiff is trying to prevent, does that not in itself epitomise lack of respect for a constituted authority?”