The Senate President Bukola Saraki’s application for an order of interim injunction stopping his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has been rejected by Justice Abdulkadir Abdulkafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja,
The judge refused Saraki’s prayer after listening to his lawyer, Raphael Oluyede but directed them to appear before the court tomorrow to show cause why the reliefs sought by the applicant should not be granted.
Saraki’s fresh application for interim injunction was filed with a new fundamental rights’ enforcement suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on November 6, the day Justice Ibrahim Buba (of the Lagos division) threw out a similar brought by him.
Justice Buba said his court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case. He added that it should have been filed in Abuja where the cause of action took place. The judge noted that Saraki could not prove that his rights were about to be violated in Lagos.
“He has to proffer reasons for the court to hold that his right is about to be violated in Lagos State. The key word is ‘state’,” the judge said.
This suit is the third of such filed at the Federal High Court by Saraki.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, before who the first of such suits was filed, withdrew from the case on September 30 and returned the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta.
Saraki sought to restrain the CCT, the Federal Ministry of Justice and others from proceeding with his trial on the alleged false assets declaration charge against him at the CCT.
Justice Mohammed declined on September 17 to grant Saraki’s prayer for an order restraining the respondents.
The Senate president had applied for the order via an ex-parte motion.
The judge ordered that the respondents be put on notice and show cause on September 21, why Saraki’s prayers should not be granted.
On September 21, the judge, after arguments from parties, elected to hear the substantive suit.
When parties returned to court on September 30, Justice Mohammed withdrew from the case, following publications in the social media, which portrayed him as being compromised.
He said the publication cast doubt in his integrity as a judge hearing the case.
Justice Mohammed said it was more honourable for him to hand the case file to the chief judge for reassignment.
To avert a possible misrepresentation of the proceedings, the judge directed an official of the court to make the record of the proceedings available.
It is, however, not clear why Saraki filed the fresh suit since the Supreme Court on November 12, directed the CCT to suspend proceedings in his trial pending the determination of his appeal.
The apex court asked the CCT to “tarry awhile” and await its decision in Saraki’s appeal.
The directive by a five-man panel, led by Justice John Fabiyi, followed an undertaking by the respondents’ lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to prevail on the CCT not to proceed with the trial since the Supreme Court will hear Saraki’s appeal speedily.