The trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, has been suspended, following an order of the Supreme Court suspending trial pending the determination of his appeal.
Mr. Saraki was billed to appear at the tribunal today for the continuation of hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Public Relations Officer of the tribunal, Ibraheem Alhassan, made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday.
Mr. Alhassan said the decision to suspend hearing was to show due respect to the apex court’s directive for stay of proceedings.
“The case was slated for hearing on Nov. 23, but as a mark of respect for the apex court, the tribunal decided to tarry a while pending the determination of Saraki’s appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him,” he said.
NAN recalls that Justice John Fabiyi, leading a five-man panel of justices of the apex court, ordered the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal to suspend further hearing in the matter.
Mr. Fabiyi held that the stay of proceeding was to enable the apex court hear and determine the substantive appeal brought by Mr. Saraki.
“It is imperative to state that all the parties, including the Code of Conduct Tribunal, should tarry a while to enable this court determine the appeal before it.
“In effect, further proceeding at the CCT should be stayed pending the hearing of the appeal.
“Hearing date will be communicated to all the parties,” the apex court said in a unanimous ruling.
The Supreme Court, however, gave both parties seven days each to file and serve their briefs in order to ensure accelerated hearing.
Following this development, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, gave an undertaking that the federal government would not do anything until the Supreme Court had reached a final decision on the appeal.
Mr. Saraki is facing a13-count criminal charge, to which he had pleaded not guilty.