Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who heard Senate President Bukola Saraki’s ex parte application to stop his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), has withdrawn from the case.
The judge today remitted Saraki’s case to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, for reassigning to another judge, citing “negative reports” on the case.
“While it is not my intention to join issues with the authors of the said publication, I strongly feel that the records should be set straight,” said Mohammed.
“In the first instance, I have never made any restraining order against any of the defendants and in particular, the code of conduct tribunal vide a motion ex parte or any motion at all.
“Those who are conversant with the workings of this court know it is not in the habit of granting restraining orders to stop public institutions from carrying out their statutory duties.”
Saraki had on September 17 approached Justice Mohammed to give an order halting his trial by the CCT for alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.
The judge ordered the parties to the case – the CCT, and the ministry of justice – to appear before him on September 21, a decision interpreted to mean the suspension of their client’s trial at the CCT. The trial nevertheless went on September 21.