FORGERY SUIT: SARAKI, EKWEREMADU TO FACE TRIAL JUNE 1

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forgery suit : Saraki, Ekweremadu to face trial June 1
The case challenging the election of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, as principal officers of the Senate has again been adjourned to June 1.
An Abuja Federal High Court adjourned the case due to the absence of four out of the six defendants in the matter.
Justice Stephen Chukwu at the resumed sitting on Wednesday, adjourned the case following information that the four defendants were not served with hearing notice by the court bailiff.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Mamman Osuman (SAN) explained to Chukwu that Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Mr Patrick Ikweto, could not be reached for the notice to be served on him.
Osuman further explained that his legal team and the court bailiff observed that Ikweto had relocated from his chambers in Wuse to an unidentifiable destination.
He said that although the court required counsel relocating office to let the courts know where he had cases, Ikweto had not done so.
Mamman, claimed that Ikweto might have been unable to inform the court due to an oversight.
He, however, prayed the judge for the case to be rescheduled to enable the defendants to be served with fresh hearing notices.
The case was adjourned by the judge to June 1 while he ordered that fresh hearing notices be served on all parties.
Justice Chukwu, however cautioned all parties over being absent, adding that whether the defendants were in court or not on the adjourned date, hearing would continue.
It would be recalled that Sen. Abu Ibrahim, and four others had instituted a case claiming that the Senate standing orders used for the election of Saraki and Ekweremadu had been adulterated and so the election should be voided.
They pleaded the court for an order to stop the duo from presiding over the House and that senators should be stopped from recognizing them as principal officers.
However, Saraki, in his defence pointed out that he was returned unopposed as there was no election and no one contested the position with him.
He said that the five senators had no locus standi to come to court because there were 109 senators and the decision of only five could not override the decision of 104 others.
The defence added that the five senators brought the case to court in their individual capacity and not on behalf of the Senate.
The defence claimed that they had not told the court what they had lost by that election since they never claimed in their suit that they had aspired to any of the positions.
The defence prayed the court to trash the matter for lack of merit as well as non-disclosure of cause of action.
Source: John Owen Nwachukwu

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