By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Federal Ministry of Justice has asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, sitting in Abuja to issue bench warrant for the arrest of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
A deputy director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. M.S. Hassan, applied for the arrest order following Saraki’s refusal to appear before the tribunal to enter his plea to the13- count corruption charge against him.
Saraki who was billed for arraignment this morning, sent his team of lawyers to serve the tribunal with a copy of the ruling of Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, which summoned the Ministry of Justice to appear on Monday to show cause why the trial should be allowed to proceed.
Equally summoned by the court were the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar and that of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, as well as Mr. Hassan who signed the charge against Saraki.
Meanwhile, irked by Saraki’s absence at the tribunal for the commencement of his prosecution over alleged false declaration of assets, the Ministry of Justice prayed the Justice Umar-led panel to order for his arrest, saying “he cannot sit in the comfort of his chamber and object to his trial in absentia”.
The prosecution further maintained that Justice Mohammed lacked the powers to summon the CCT and CCB chairmen, even as it accused Saraki of engaging in “forum shopping” in a desperate bid to scuttle his trial.