The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has failed to persuade the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, sitting in Abuja to suspend further hearing on the 16-count charge the Federal Government preferred against him.
Saraki equally lost his bid to disqualify Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, from further presiding over the case.
Saraki, had in his motion filed on June 13, 2016 sought the tribunal’s order compelling its chairman to disqualify himself over allegation of a bias statement credited to him during the proceedings of June 7.
The defence had quoted the tribunal chairman to have warned the defence against causing delay of the case with a threat that the delay tactics would not reduce the consequence awaiting the accused.
Saraki’s lawyers maintained that the statement eroded the confidence they had in the ability of Justice Umar to determine the case objectively.
Consequently, they asked the CCT chairman to not only step aside, but to also halt further proceeding on the matter, pending the constitution of a new panel for the tribunal.
The application was vehemently opposed by the federal government, which through its lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, sought its dismissal.
Umar, who read the ruling of the tribunal said the affidavit of “concerned citizens” filed by Saraki to prove the allegation of bias against him was unknown to law.
He said, “It is our holding that the defendant/applicant’s allegation of bias is merely founded on conjecture.
“The allegation of bias is a serious issue and it is capable of destroying public confidence in the institution.
“The affidavit by the concerned citizens does not constitute a standard for proving such serious allegation.
“The tribunal upholds that the application of the applicant is not legally founded and it is hereby refused.”
Meanwhile, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal will on Thursday, commence hearing on Saraki’s appeal.
Saraki had gone before the appellate court to query the legal propriety of the criminal charge pending against him before the CCT.
The appellate court panel headed by Justice Abdul Aboki had earlier asked Saraki to respond to FG’s motion for the appeal to be struck out.