The Federal Government on Friday explained that it let go the forgery case against Senate President Bukola Saraki, his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu and others due to respect for the rule of law.
According to government, the case which was before an Abuja High Court at Jabi had to be dropped considering that the subject matter is at present pending before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Apart from Saraki and Ekweremadu, government prosecutor, Mr Aliyu Umar, SAN, had also applied to dismiss further proceeding on the charge against former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.
Umar had told the court that though his witnesses, including the Investigative Police Officer in charge of the case were ready to testify, he claimed FG took the action as a mark of its respect for the rule of law.
“My lord, having been well guided at the last proceeding and because of certain applications I am about to make, I did not ask my witnesses to come, though the IPO is here. On October 5, I filed response to motions of 1st and 2nd defendants. I was also served a counter-affidavit dated October 8.
“My lord I have also been served with the 3rd defendant’s notice dated September 30 and that of the 4th defendant dated October 4. However, in view of the fact that this government respects the rule of law and hierarchy of the judiciary, it is obvious that these applications cannot go on.
“Your learned brother in the Federal High Court is dealing with issues that are supposed to be dealt with by your lordship. It is trite law that two courts of the same coordinate jurisdiction cannot be seized of the same matter at the same time.
“Before this court, we have an amended charge dated October 5 and the original charge dated June 10 which the defendants pleaded to on June 27. I apply to withdraw both the initial and amended charge. I ask my lord to strike them out and discharge all the defendants”, Umar prayed.
All the defendants welcomed the application and their counsels took turns to commend the federal government for withdrawal of the charge.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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