The arraignment of President of Senate, Bukola Saraki his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and others who are accused of forging the standing Rule of the Senate 2015, has been stalled due to non-service of the charges preferred against them by the federal government. Saraki and his fellow accused persons were scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Jabi Division of the Federal Capital Territory High Court for the alleged offence.
When the matter was called up during the court proceedings, the defendants were not present on the grounds that they were not served, the presiding judge, justice Halilu however ordered for a substituted court service to be made on them. Justice Halilu cited section 123 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, to order that Saraki and his fellow accused persons be served with the court process through the notice board of the National Assembly.
The judge has adjourned till June 27 for the court processes to be served and for defendants to appear for their arraignment. Saraki, Ekweremadu, a former Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his then deputy, Benedict Efeturi, were on June 10, charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and forgery of the Standing Rules used for the leadership election of the presiding officers of the Senate in June, 2015.
The Federal Government stated that the offence of conspiracy was punishable under Section 97 subsection (1) of the Penal Code Act; and that it is punishable under Section 364 of the same law. It was alleged that the 2011 version of the Senate Orders was secretly altered by some individuals to produce the 2015 edition.