Senate President Bukola Saraki is currently in Geneva, Switzerland.
But as news filtered in from back home in Nigeria that the Court of Appeal has struck out his application seeking to halt his trial for false declaration of assets, the former Kwara State Governor must have excused himself into a restroom to ponder his next line of action.
In Thursday’s ruling, Justice Abdul Aboki held that the trial of the Senate President will continue at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki is facing a 16-count charge bordering on corruption and false declaration of assets at the (CCT).
The Senate President’s legal team has been trying to avoid today’s outcome for as long as anyone can remember.
Kanu Agabi, a former Attorney General who is Saraki’s lead counsel, has deployed all the legal tricks in the book in a bid to avoid confronting CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar.
Umar isn’t loved by the defense. Saraki had asked that the CCT Chairman withdrew from the case.
According to Saraki, Umar is intent on sending him to jail.
But Umar hasn’t budged. He has notified everyone that he’ll continue to hear the case, much to the dismay of the Senate President and his lawyers.
According to Sahara Reporters, “Agabi had approached the Court of Appeal citing 9 grounds of appeal and seeking an order of the court to halt Mr. Saraki’s trial pending the completion of the appeal”.
Saraki’s lawyers have been very busy across all the courts in the land. It’s been a 12-month span to forget for them and their client.
The Senate President recently had cause to breathe again after the Federal Government withdrew its case of forgery against him.
But his CCT battle has been his toughest yet, especially because a tough talking CCT Chairman continues to get under Saraki’s skin and breathe down his neck.
With today’s ruling, Saraki’s trial for false declaration of assets will resume on November 7 and 8, 2016.
The trial commenced in September 2015.
Saraki may yet run to another court of coordinate jurisdiction or the Supreme Court in a bid to halt his trial at the hands of Umar.
Given his antecedents, you can’t put it past him to run to a Magistrate or Customary court in order to avoid trial at the CCT.
But his options are fast running out. And he knows it.