The fundamental rights application by Senate president Bukola Saraki to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has been refused by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Abdul Kafarati, in his judgment yesterday, dismissed the application for lack of merit and what he described as constituting an abuse of court process.
The judge held that the reliefs prayed for by Saraki “are not cognisable under Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution”, which lists the fundamental rights of citizens.
Saraki had, for the umpteenth time through his counsel, Ajibola Oluyede, filed the application challenging the trial at the CCT for falling short of Article 3 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
He prayed the court to nullify the charges brought against him on alleged false assets declaration while he was Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011, contending that they constituted breach of his fundamental rights.
He argued that the prosecution wants to achieve the political objective of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove him as Senate president.
Saraki further asked the court to restrain all the federal agencies involved in his prosecution for what he called “denying him fair hearing as provided for in the constitution.”
The agencies he listed are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Inspector-General of Police, Code of Conduct Bureau, CCT and its chairman Justice Danladi Umar, Atedze Adza, the CCB boss Sam Baba and the Director of Public Prosecution Mohammed Diri.
But the judge ruled that the application constituted an interference with the statutory functions of the agencies, maintaining that the CCT was competent to conduct the trial.
He upheld the objection by counsel to EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and ICPC Suleiman Abdulkarim that the issue of political objective in the prosecution was “sentiment and not based on law.”
Saraki’s counsel, Oluyede has indicated intention to appeal the verdict of the court before the Court of Appeal.