The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has turned down the request and application by the Senate President Bukola Saraki asking that the tribunal to provide him with the day-to-day record of court proceedings in his ongoing trial for corruption. The Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar, noted that the record can only be made available to the defense when they are going for an appeal. He maintained that the court has been very fair in the way and manner they have been handling the case.
Also, the Chairman threatened to charge and send to prison any members of the public who makes noise to disturb the courtroom while in session. He handed down this warning when Saraki supporters observing the proceedings began to grumble in the court when the lead witness, Michael Wetkas was being cross-examined by the defense counsel. He asked the audience to respect the court and threatened that the court would not hesitate to apply the law where necessary.
The defense counsel, Kanu Agabi, asked the court to use its discretion in the decision to conduct the trial day-to-day considering the position of the defendant as Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and some of his senators who accompanied him to the court and to enable the Senate to sit for their plenary. But the chairperson responded that the Senate President was not on trial but only the defendant, Mr. Bukola Saraki, was standing trial alone, so there was no basis for the court to adjourn because of the sitting of the Senate.
"We must act in accordance with the enacted law," Mr. Umar said.
He then requested that the defense and prosecution counsels to harmonies their exhibits tendered with the court registrars to enable them to be on the same page as the trial proceed.
While responding the prosecution, Rotimi Jacobs, argued that the court officials are civil servants and it is practically impossible to tidy up the record of the proceeding everyday when the court will close by 6.00pm. He also objected to the request by the defense for the court to adjourn to enable the senate to sit.
The defense said that they would need more time to examine those documents. But the chairman maintained that the court would adjourn until noon on Tuesday April 19th to enable the defense to examine the document.