Court Refuses Stay Of Proceedings In Trial Of Saraki, Dasuki, Metuh
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja yesterday refused to entertain motions for stay of proceedings in the case involving Senate President Bukola Saraki, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Olisa Metuh.
A three-man panel of the appellate court, presided over by Justice Abdul Aboki, took the stance on the appeals by Saraki, Dasuki and Metuh.
Justice Aboki, at the mention of Metuh’s appeal, said: “We have decided that we will not hear motion for stay of proceedings. You should go back to the court to argue your application before the court and pursue your appeal before us.”
Efforts by Metuh’s lawyer Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) to persuade the court to reverse itself failed.
Ikpeazu prayed to be allowed to convince the court on the merit of the motion for stay of proceedings he filed for his client.
But Justice Aboki refused, insisting: “We are not going to allow that. Even if you file it, we are going to dismiss it straightaway.”
The PDP spokesman and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, are being tried on a seven-count charge before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
They allegedly laundered $2 million and unlawfully accepted N400 million from Dasuki.
They had appealed Justice Abang’s ruling dismissing their no-case submissions. They filed separate appeals.
Yesterday, Ikpeazu, who filed processes on behalf of Metuh and Destra, withdrew his representation for Destra and was replaced by Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN).
On the appeal by Saraki, his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), acting on the court’s position not to entertain motion for stay of proceedings, withdrew a similar motion he filed.
Saraki, who is being tried for alleged false declaration of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), is appealing the March 24 ruling by the tribunal. The CCT insisted it had jurisdiction to try the Senate president.
Also, Dasuki’s lawyer Joseph Daudu (SAN) elected to wait before deciding whether or not to withdraw the motion for a stay of proceeding he filed.
He said he would await the response by the respondent before making a decision.
“If I see the respondent’s brief, I will be able to make the decision,” Daudu said.
The respondent, Federal Government, is represented by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Dasuki is appealing two separate ruling by Justices Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Peter Affen of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, Abuja.
Both judges dismissed Dasuki’s motion to stop his trial, among others.
Justices Yusuf and Affen, in their ruling on February 8 and March 4, dismissed Dasuki’s motions for an order restraining the Federal Government from further prosecuting him on the two charges of diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms.
A similar motion by Dasuki was dismissed on April 19 by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Court of Appeal announced yesterday that parties would be informed about the next hearing dates in the appeals by Saraki and Dasuki.