Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Code of Conduct Tribunal rejects Saraki’s request for one week adjournment

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Tuesday rejected the plea by Senate President, Bukola Saraki for a one week adjournment in his trial for false asset declaration.

CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, in a ruling held that having earlier directed the that proceedings in the trial would be held day-to-day, it would be wrong for the tribunal to grant the defendant’s request for a week adjournment when there was no compelling reason.

Umar noted that the defence team, including about 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, did not raise any objection on Monday when the tribunal elected to conduct proceedings on daily basis.

He also noted that the defence team, upon its request, was promptly provided with all documents tendered during Monday’s proceeding by the prosecution.

The CCT chairman further held that having agreed to commence the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness on Monday, a process that continued on Tuesday, a week’s adjournment would disrupt the flow of the witness and the court’s observation of the witness’ testimony.

Umar, who upheld argument by the lead prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), rejected the argument by Paul Usoro (SAN) for the defendant that the provision of Section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 conflicts with the provision of Section 36 of the Constitution in relation to the right of the defendant in a criminal trial for adequate time to prepare for his defence.

Source: The Nation

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