Judge pulls out of Saraki trial, wants case reassigned

Senate president, Bukola Saraki
Senate president, Bukola Saraki

A High Court judge who granted an order that appeared to halt the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over alleged corruption, has stood down from the case.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court excused himself from the case on Wednesday, and transferred the matter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, for reassigning, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

He said he took the decision due to “negative reports”, NAN reported.

Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

He denies wrongdoing and says the case was instigated by those angry he became the Senate president.

After the Code of Conduct Bureau filed charges against him two weeks ago, Mr. Saraki approached a high court to block the trial.

Justice Mohammed summoned the chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau and officials of the Ministry of Justice to explain why he should not order the stoppage of the trial.

The judge’s injunction was rejected by the Code of Conduct Tribunal which argued that the two courts were of coordinate jurisdiction.

Mr. Saraki later appeared before the tribunal after the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, and asked him to face trial.

On Tuesday, Mr. Saraki was given a vote of confidence by 83 senators.

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