The trial of Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which had resumed on Monday morning was being delayed till noon by Mr Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Tribunal.
This is just as the Umar-led Tribunal directed that the trial will henceforth proceed day to day – from 10am to 6pm – from today (Monday), until the conclusion of the case.
Umar, who gave this directive at the resumed hearing in the case on Monday, said his decision to conduct the trial day to day was in line with the provisions of section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
The judge 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 had told the tribunal that the lead counsel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Jacobs asked for the stand-down to enable him to appear briefly before the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
Reacting to the request, Umar disclosed that the tribunal would no longer wait for anybody.
He said, “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 10am till about 6pm 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.”
Saraki is standing trial on a 13-count-charge bordering on false asset declaration and money laundering.
Meanwhile, some lackeys of the senate president are spotted staging a peaceful protest around the premises of the Tribunal on Jabi district road in Abuja.