Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday withdrew from the case filed by Saraki against the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Code of Conduct Bureau.
The court therefore ordered that the case file should be returned to the Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Justice Mohammed attributed his decision to return the case file to what he described as “negative reports” on the case.
The judge expressed displeasure at the reports in the media that he ordered the CCB and CCT to stop the prosecution of Saraki, adding that the reports had already created a negative opinion in the mind of many Nigerians.
Precisely, two weeks ago, Justice Mohammed had summoned the CCB and the CCT over the planned arraignment of Saraki by the CCB.
Justice Mohammed had while granting the motion ex parte that was argued before him, directed the CCB and the CCT to appear before him on September 21, 2015 and show cause why the interim injunction being sought by the Senate President should not be granted.
He also directed that all the plaintiffs should be served with the motion ex parte and the accompanied affidavit while hearing notice should be served on all the respondents.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said he can be impeached if he interferes in the Code of Conduct Tribunal case against Saraki over charges of false assets declaration.
Saraki, on September 11, had been served a 13-count by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation. The Senate President responded by calling it a witch-hunt.
But in a statement on September 20, the Presidency denied any responsibility for the Senate President’s trial and described the attempt to link Buhari to Saraki’s trial as unacceptable.
The Presidency had argued that the trial of the Senate President was purely a judicial and constitutional issue.
Buhari, in an interview with Sahara TV, which was monitored by one of our correspondents on Wednesday, however, said he could not interfere in the trial because it would be unconstitutional to do so.
He said, “What has the President got to do with it as a person? The case is in court. Do Nigerians expect me to tell the Chief Justice to tell whichever court that they shouldn’t try the Senate President?
“Do Nigerians know the constitution of their country; that the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive have got their roles within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Then how do they expect me to interfere? I can be successfully impeached if I do it.”
Asked if he would pass any vote of confidence in the Senate President, in the light of the backing of Saraki by 83 senators on Tuesday, the President said, “That would depend on the outcome of the trial.”
Responding to questions about his current relationship with the Senate President, Buhari said that he had been communicating with Saraki through letter.
“There are some appointments which the Senate has to approve and I cannot remember how many letters I have personally written to him, because it is constitutional.
Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, on Monday shockingly excluded Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, and Chelsea’s Victor Moses from his list of 18 overseas-based players invited for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.
The 18 overseas-based players are expected to arrive in the Eagles’ camp in Abuja on Monday, August 31, ahead of the match billed for Dar es Salaam on September 5. They will join the 23 home-based players, who arrived in camp on Monday.
Ighalo is one of the most potent strikers in England in the last one year, scoring 20 goals last season to help Watford return to the English Premier League, and then scoring on his debut, against Everton, in the EPL. The former Udinese man also scored in the Eagles’ 2-0 defeat of Chad in an AFCON qualifier in Kaduna in June.
Oliseh left out Chelsea forward Moses, who had a nice time on loan at Stoke City, before impressing in pre-season with the Blues, but handed surprise first call-ups to Russia-based duo of Sylvester Igbonu (FC Ufa) and Izunna Uzochukwu (Amkar Perm), as well as 29-year-old Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
In-form Esperance striker, Emem Eduok, who scored on his international debut in November last year, and 20-year-old Gent forward, Moses Simon, who made his debut in a friendly game against Uganda in May, returned to the squad.
Captain of the 2007 U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eaglets, Haruna Lukman, who last played for the Eagles at the 2010 World Cup, also got an opportunity to revive his international career. His teammate at cadet level, Rabiu Ibrahim, who returned to the Eagles in the match against Chad, after a long time out in the international wilderness, made the team alongside Torino midfielder Joel Obi, Al Ain striker Emmanuel Emenike and Anthony Ujah, the Werder Bremen forward.
But missing out is Chelsea midfielder Obi Mikel, Brown Ideye (West Bromwich Albion), and Elderson Echiejile (Monaco). The trio has not been consistent for their clubs recently and their exclusion may not come as a surprise, as Oliseh had warned that benchwarmers would not be a part of his team.
Lazio’s Ogenyi Onazi misses the tie after he was handed a two-match ban by CAF for his red card in the game against Chad.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made the list alongside defenders Leon Balogun, Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo.