Friday, August 18, 2017

FG Drops Forgery Charges Against Saraki, Ekweremadu and Others

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has withdrawn all charges of forgery brought against the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and two others.

Mr. Aliyu Umar, the lead prosecuting counsel on Friday, told Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Jabi Division of the High Court, that the charges were being withdrawn because of a similar case still pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He said, “This government respects the rule of law, and hierarchy of the judiciary. It is obvious from these two applications (filed by Saraki and Ekweremadu) and the similar case before your learned brother, Justice Kolawole, at the Federal High Court who is dealing with the issue that we are withdrawing the charges.

“It is trite that two matters of the same subject matter cannot be before different courts of coordinate jurisdiction.

“Therefore, the amended charge dated October 5, 2016 and also the original dated June 10, 2016 and filed the same date be struck out and all the four defendants be discharged.”

However, the case before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court in Abuja which was being referred to by the prosecutor, was a civil case filed by a serving Senator, Gilbert Nnaji, to challenge the then ongoing investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate rule by Saraki and others.

The application by Umar for the withdrawal of the charges was not opposed by the defence lawyers comprising, Messrs Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN), Mahmud Magaji (SAN), Paul Erokoro (SAN) and Joseph Daudu (SAN).

After which, Justice Halilu, struck out the case and discharged all the four accused.

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