The Supreme Court on Friday ordered former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, to return to Abuja High Court within seven days to face trial on alleged N55 million bribe in 2005.
In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Musa Muhammad, the apex court held that Wabara should return to the lower court for a re-trial of the criminal allegation against him.
``This court, therefore, sets aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which quashed the charge against the accused persons.
``The case file must be remitted to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court for expeditious trial within seven days,’’ he said.
The ICPC had arraigned Wabara and four others on April 11, 2005, for allegedly obtaining money to facilitate easy passage of the budget of the Federal Ministry of Education in 2005.
Other accused persons were a former Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji, Sen. Ibrahim AbdulAzeez, Sen. Azuta Mbata and Garba Matazu.
Two other suspects (Senators Emmanuel Okpede and Badamosi Maccido) have died and their names struck out of the charge sheet.
They were accused of allegedly committing offences contrary to sections 9 (1) (a); 17 (a); 23 (2); 26 (1) and punishable under Section 8 (1); 9 (1) (b); 17 (c); 23 (3) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. The accused had earlier prayed the trial judge to quash the charges against them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Justice Husseini Muktar had refused the request on Nov. 10, 2005.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the lower court, Wabara, AbdulAzeez and Osuji approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, to challenge the decision of the trial court. On June 2, 2010, the appellate court quashed the 15-count charge and let them off the hook.