Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Justice Danladi Umar has said that after analysing all the issues raised have come to the conclusion that the matter cannot be adjourned as the Tribunal has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the same and the position that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.
He said since the Tribunal has ruled last week that the trial will commence today and “it is ready to take the witnesses for commencement of trial.”
Saraki who is without is lead counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) is in court 90 lawyers.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal had earlier adjourned for 15 minutes to rule on a request by Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki for the adjournment of trial.
Before taking the decision to take a recess, Paul Usoro, standing in for Chief Kanu Agabi, had in his response to the argument of the prosecution counsel argued that the Tribunal asked the tribunal to strike out the request for stay of proceedings before it if it constitutes abuse of court process.
He also argued that adjournment and stay of proceedings are not the same, hence they were treated differently in law.
He also argued that the principle of law for adjournment and stay of proceedings are different.
Usoro argued that there was no limit to the number of adjournment that can granted by a court in ACJA. He added that this was why the Act prescribe imposition of fines for frivolous request for adjournment.
When proceedings began today, Usoro told Mr Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal that he was leading a team of 90 lawyers and apologised for the absence of Agabi, who was stranded in Akwa Ibom by flight difficulties.
Usoro told the tribunal after the senate President had entered the dock and Rotimi Jacobs had also announced his presence as the prosecution counsel that the trial could not proceed as the team had filed a motion for stay of proceedings pending the determination of a substantive appeal at the Federal Appeal Court.
Jacobs said he was served the motion for stay of proceedings about 30 minutes to the commencement of trial. He asked the court to proceed with the trial arguing that a motion filed when a court is about to proceed cannot stop the trial. He also said the motion was filed today 5 April.
“My Lord, we are ready,” said Rotimi.