June 2, 2016

Saraki’s trial at CCT adjourned

Saraki’s trial at CCT adjourned

Bukola saraki

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—Following the inability of Federal Government to produce its star witness in court to be cross-examined, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, sitting in Abuja, yesterday, okayed indefinite adjournment on the 16-count charge suit against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

A letter that was forwarded to the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), revealed that the witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, an investigative officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was before another court yesterday, testifying in another criminal matter involving the former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

Wetkas was the head of a three-man crack team the anti-graft agency constituted in 2014 to investigate six petitions against Saraki. He has been in the witness box since April 6 before the tribunal.

The CCT panel had, at the last adjourned date, May 25, ordered him to also appear before it yesterday to enable Saraki’s defence team, led by a former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), to further cross-examine him with regards to the primary evidence and exhibits the Federal Government tendered against the defendant through him.

In the letter, addressed to the CCT Chairman, government suggested June 8 and 9 for the matter, stressing that Wetkas was compelled to appear before Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the Federal High Court in Abuja to testify Lamido’s case.

However, Vanguard learned that Saraki had, through his lawyers in another letter, rejected the trial dates suggested by Federal Government.

Spokesman for the tribunal, Mr. Ibrahim Alhassan, who confirmed the development, disclosed that the CCT boss, Justice Umar, was not pleased with the fact that the trial was stalled at the instance of government.

However, Alhassan said in view of the conflicting letters, the tribunal would take its time to choose a date “at its own convenience.”