AGF Fails to Commence Forgery Trial Against Saraki, Ekweremadu, Case File not Ready

The Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami Wednesday failed to kick start the trial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki, his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu and two others in the two count forgery charge brought against them by the Federal Government.
At an Abuja High Court, Jabi, where the trial was billed to commence, counsel to the Federal Government Alhaji Aliyu Umar told Justice Yusuf Halilu that he was not ready for the trial because a motion asking the court not to entertain the case was served on him on 26 September.
Umar who led Federal Government legal team informed the court that the office of the AGF has not handed over the case file to him yet, he therefore applied for an adjournment to enable him put his house in order and to enable him prepare his reaction to series of motions filed by the four defendants.
However, counsel to Saraki, Paul Irokoro, vehemently objected to the request for adjournment insisting that the matter was slated for trial Wednesday about two months ago.
Irokoro told Justice Halilu that if the AGF did not deem it fit to hand over the Casefile to the Federal Government’s lawyer then the charge should be quashed.
Irokoro further informed the court that Saraki had filed the motion since June 22 before the court and served the AGF questioning the propriety on the ground that it constituted an abuse of court process because a similar matter involving the AGF is pending in another court.
In the same vein counsel to Ekweremadu Joseph Daudu, also faulted Federal Government request for adjournment claiming that since June when the charge was filed and slated to hearing, the AGF ought to have done the needful so as not to scuttle the trial.
Daudu told the court that Ekweremadu has also filed a motion questioning the filing of the charge by AGF arguing that it was brought in bad faith and not competent because it consistuted in the face of the law a gross abuse of judicial process.
Ikechukwu Ezechukwu who stood for the former Clerk of the National Assembly Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and Alhaji Mahmoud who stood for former Deputy Clerk, Ben Efeturi, also raised objection against the decision of the prosecution not to commence the trial.
Justice Halilu however expressed reservation on the request for adjournment and inabilibilty of the AGF to respond to the motion filed over 90 days ago by three of the four defendants. “I don’t allow party to stall trial before me but in the interest of justice and in the circumstances the prosecution has found himself I oblige to adjourn this matter to Friday Oct. 7 as agreed by all the parties.
Federal Government had instituted a two count charge, alleging that Senators Saraki, Ekweremadu, Maikasuwa and Efeturi, were on or about June 9, 2015, with fraudulent intent, forged the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended), causing it to be believed as the genuine Standing Orders 2015 and circulated same for use during the inauguration of the 8th Senate when they knew that the said order was not made in compliance with the procedure for amendment of the Senate orders.
It stated further thst, the four-some, thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code laws.

Author: News Editor

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