There was drama at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday when Senate President Bukola Saraki refused to move into the dock when his case was called. The dock is where those standing trial stay during proceedings.
Saraki’s refusal to leave his seat for the dock led to an argument between his lead counsel, Mahmud Magaji (SAN), and the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Objecting to Saraki’s action, Jacobs said it was the practice for an accused “irrespective” of his status to enter the dock during his trial. According to him, once an accused person’s plea is taken, he/she must always sit in the dock during proceedings.
“Things must be done properly. The proper thing is for him to go to the dock,” Jacobs said.
Magaji said there was no need for Saraki to enter the dock, citing Section 22(m) of the Evidence Act to buttress his submission. But, tribunal Chairman Justice Danladi Umar overruled him, directing him to prevail on Saraki to do the right thing.
Shortly after Saraki moved into the dock, Jacobs sought an adjournment to enable the tribunal await the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the defendant’s appeal. The appeal court on Monday adjourned the verdict sine die (indefinitely).
Jacobs also acknowledged receipt of a fresh motion for stay of proceedings filed by Saraki’s legal team.
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