Justice Ibrahim Buba, a Federal High Court judge with a reputation for granting perpetual injunctions to prohibit trials of corrupt public officials, has thrown out a similar secret lawsuit filed by Nigeria’s embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki, following its exposure by SaharaReporters.
Saraki had secretly filed the lawsuit seeking an interlocutory injunction to stop any arrest or trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies over allegations of falsehood in his assets declaration.
When the lawsuit first came up on October 23 2015, Justice Buba was shocked to find in the courtroom a lawyer representing the EFCC. The lawyer stood up and opposed the judge’s decision to grant an order. The lawsuit had the Inspector General of Police and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation listed as defendants,
Saraki filed the case following the collapse of a similar deal at the Court of Appeal. The appellate court sided with the CCT, ruling that Saraki’s trial is in order.
At the resumed hearing of the CCT yesterday, Mr. Saraki’s lawyers staged a choreographed walkout on the judges when it became impossible to stall his trial anymore.
Saraki, who served two terms as governor of Kwara State, is facing 13-count charge relating to his assets declaration in that office.