Forces from Bourdillon working closely with a Governor from one of the North-West states and some elements in the Presidency on Monday compelled the President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to arrest judgement in the case filed by Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki challenging his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) due to non compliance with the provision of the law, SIGNAL can report.
According to a top judicial source who spoke to SIGNAL on Monday on condition of anonymity, a high-powered agenda is being orchestrated to compromise the outcome of Saraki’s appeal.
“I can tell you on good authority that something is really amiss. There is a collaboration of presidency forces, Bourdillon and a governor from one of the North-West states to ensure this process is compromised against the Senate President. You can clearly see with what is happening that this is a carefully scripted agenda that is playing out and even the hands of judges are tied”, the source disclosed.
It will be recalled that two hours before the time slated for the commencement of the delivery of the judgment by the Court of Appeal, an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, had published a story targeting the Appeal Court judges claiming that “the Court of Appeal Abuja, have concluded plans to order a stop to the trial of Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal ordering immediate discontinuation of Mr Saraki’s trial”.
Independent commentators are however wondering whether the online platform got the hint of the content of the supposed judgment and therefore decided to preempt the outcome of the case.
It is curious and unusual that a panel of Judges of the Court of Appeal will fix a date for judgment and less than 30 minutes to the period, the Judges did not even show up to brief either the counsel in chamber or the court but only a court clerk sauntered into the court room to announce that the judgment has been postponed and the court will communicate a new date to the parties at a later day.
The court clerk then immediately ordered Saraki’s lawyer and other guests out of the courtroom and locked the doors and windows.
Strangely, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, SAN and other government lawyers did not turn up at all, leaving many to assume that they had foreknowledge of the way the events eventually played out.
Another highly palced source who pleaded anonymity confirmed to SIGNAL that Justice Bulkachuwa is under extreme pressure not to allow any development that will jeopardize the plan to convict Saraki by all means at the CCT.
The source added that the President of the Court of Appeal may attempt to reassign the case to a more malleable panel of judges.
Meanwhile, many senior members of the bench have described what happened in the Court of Appeal today as an aberration and a flagrant attempt to bring the judiciary to disrepute.
Some of them are of the opinion that Justice Bulkachuwa herself is under pressure from external forces whose bidding she would be inclined to do because of her on-going investigations for some past misdeeds.
“With what happened today, The President of the court of appeal may make desperate moves that we cannot immediately contemplate. Only God knows where this will end”, a retired judge who did not want to be named said.
Yemi Adebowale, Kayode Sesan
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