Justice John Fabiyi who on Thursday temporarily halted the corruption trial of Nigeria’s Senate president Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) retires in two weeks, according to sources at the Supreme Court.
By law, Justice Fabiyi is required to mandatorily retire from the judiciary on November 25 when he turns 70. He was born on November 25 1945
Justice Fabiyi today led four other judges who gave an order to halt the trial of Saraki pending the determination of the Senate President’s appeal before the court. Saraki is seeking an order halting his trial for falsely declaring his assets.
The Senate President has done everything possible to halt his arraignment on 13 counts of false declaration of assets, using various maneuvers in an effort to get judges of different courts in Nigeria to stop his trial.
A source told SaharaReporters that prior to today’s ruling, Toyin Sanusi, one of his aides, drove a Black Toyota Corolla car, license plate YAB 595 KZ, to a meeting several times with the Supreme Court registrar at No. 17, Mandela Street in Asokoro, Abuja. It was in the house that Saraki’s agents reportedly met some justices.
Saraki intensified his plot to stop the CCT trial when officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) went last week to see a lawyer with a letter and two cheques that prove he bought a property through a proxy, Tunde Morankinyo, and didn’t declare it. The EFCC has invited that lawyer to their office tomorrow.
The property in question, Plot 37A Glover Street, Ikoyi, was paid for with cheques for N309Million and N15.45Million respectively. The house, which has six luxury flats, was bought in 2008. When the EFCC officer confronted Morakinyo with evidence of the cheques, he reportedly buckled under the pressure, sending Saraki into panic mode.
Justice Fabiyi is the infamous judge of the Court of Appeal who in 2007 read the lead judgement of that court proclaiming the election of Umaru Yar’adua to have been “free and fair” and in conformity with the electoral rules. He was elevated to the Supreme Court after giving that judgement, but Yar’Adua himself subsequently admitted that the election had been massively rigged.