AGF stalls Saraki, Ekweremadu forgery trial

AGF stalls Saraki, Ekweremadu forgery trial

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1:27 pm

Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu

Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu

The trial of Nigeria’s senate president, Bukola Saraki,  his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others on charges of forgery was stalled on Wednesday  by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Barrister Aliyu Umar, counsel to the Federal Government told the Court  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 told the court presided over by Justice Yusuf Halilu Umar that this was because the office of the AGF has not handed over the case file to him yet.

He therefore applied for an adjournment to enable him file his reply to series of motions filed by the four defendants.

But 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

He told Justice Halilu that if the AGF did not deem it fit to hand over to the Federal Government lawyer then the charge should be quashed.

The Senate President’s lawyer also told the court that Saraki’s motion has been before the court for more than two months and AGF has been served.

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.

Ikechukwu Ezechukwu the lawyer to former Clerk of the National Assembly Alhaji Salisu Abubakar and Alhaji Mahmoud who stood for Efeture also raised objection against the decision of the prosecution not to commence the trial.

Justice Halilu also expressed reservation on the request for adjournment and inability 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 party,” said the Judge.

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