Absence of Michael Wetkas, prosecution witness 1, in the trial of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false declaration of asset, has stalled the proceedings.
However, BusinessDay can authoritatively report that, the absence was not due to the witness’ need for rest as reported in some quarters, but the witness was testifying before Justice Ademola Adeniyi of an Abuja Federal High Court, in a matter brought against former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and his two sons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Confirming the situation to BusinessDay through SMS, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, said: “Our witness is busy before Hon. Justice Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja in respect of Sule Lamido case.” As at the time of filing this report, no new date had been announced yet.
It would be recalled that Abuja division of the Court of Appeal failed to hear an application by Saraki challenging the CCT’s jurisdiction to try him on false asset declaration on Tuesday May 31, 2016.
One of the three-man panel of judges who appeared for the matter, Justice Moo Adumie, had told the court that hearing on the application could not be held because the court could not sit, if a quorum was not formed.
Why he did not give any reason the two other judges were absent, Justice Adumie adjourned the matter to June 2, to enable the court form a quorum.
The Senate president is standing trial in a 16-count charge before the CCT, for not declaring some of his assets, operation of foreign accounts as a public officer and receiving salaries from Kwara State government while he was already a serving senator.