Abdul Kafarati, a justice of the federal high court, Abuja, has asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to face his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The judge dismissed Saraki’s fundamental rights suit to quash the charges against him at the CCT for lacking in merit. “It appears to me all that the applicant is trying to do is to stop his criminal trial at CCT. The CCT is a competent court to try the criminal matters,” he held. “This court cannot interfere with the case at the tribunal which has power to try cases.
“It is not appropriate for the applicant to approach this court. This case is hereby dismissed.”
On March 22, Kafarati had withdrawn from the suit filed by Saraki to quash the charges of false declaration of assets brought against him CCT.
Kafarati had explained that his integrity had been called into question in the matter.
He had read a report of online medium accusing him of corruption.
He, therefore, said that if he ruled against or for Saraki, his decision would be interpreted differently.
“It is only in this country that people can wake up and start calling people names,” he had said.
“In the circumstance, I disqualify myself from this case. I will hereby send the case file to the chief judge for re-assignment to another judge.”
But Ibrahim Auta, chief judge of the federal high court, prevailed on Kafarati to rule on the matter.
In February, after the judgment of the supreme court dismissing Saraki’s appeal to stop his trial, Ajibola Oloyede, his lawyer, filed the lawsuit asking the federal high court to stop his trial, and disqualify the chairman of the CCT.
The senate president couched his prayers in the violation of his rights to fair hearing by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which he said did not invite him for explanation before it filed charges against him at the CCT.
He also claimed that his trial was politically motivated, but the court held that he should face his trial.