The trial of Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki will now commence from day to day, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar said on Monday [Apr 18]. Umar backed up his decision with section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, africanspotlight has reported.
He said the trial will now begin 10 am and end by 6 pm every day until the conclusion of the case. He gave the directive in response to a request for one hour stand-down by the lawyer who represented the prosecution on Monday, Mr. Gabriel Esegine.
Esigine told the tribunal that the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN asked for the stand-down to enable him to appear briefly before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
But in response, the judge, who was not satisfied with the request for stand-down, warned that the tribunal would no longer wait for anybody. According to him:
By virtue of 396 (6) the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, criminal trial of a defendant after arraignment shall proceed day to day. This is what the tribunal intends to do. I’m saying this to both the prosecution and the defence, this tribunal will not wait for anybody.
We will start by 10 am till about 6 pm till the conclusion of the case. For the benefit of those who want to pray we will give a break for about 15 minutes. By 4pm, we will give another 15 minutes break to enable people to stretch their legs.
However, the lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN joined the prosecution in pleading with the tribunal to grant the stand-down. The CCT Chairman then reluctantly stood the case down till 12 pm.