The FCT High Court on Friday struck out the Federal Government’s forgery charges against Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.
The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), which brought the charges, also withdrew the charges against the former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and his deputy, Benedict Efeturi.
In his ruling on a motion filed by the prosecution team, Justice Yusuf Haliru, held that the court struck out the charges against the defendants on request of the prosecution team.
“I have heard the application presented by the Mr Aliyu Umar (SAN), the Prosecuting counsel, asking for the withdrawal of forgery charges against these four defendants.
“I have also listened to the positions of the counsel to the defendants and to the effect that objections were not raised.
“The court, therefore, has no option but to grant the prayer sought. The initial charges and the amended charges are hereby struck out, the four defendants are hereby discharged,’’ Haliru held.
Earlier, the prosecuting counsel had while presenting the application, said it had become imperative to withdraw the charges in order to avoid a “flagrant’’ abuse of court process.
Umar submitted that the prosecution had come to the realisation that a similar matter was pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“This administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to upholding the rule of law and respecting the hierarchy of the judiciary.
“We have discovered that pushing with this case will amount allowing two courts with coordinate jurisdiction to entertain a matter with similar issues that will bring about conflicting decisions.
“I, therefore, urge the court to in view of the above fact strike out the amended charge filed on Oct.5 and the original charge filed June 10,’’ Umar said.
NAN reports that the four were charged with allegations that they altered the Senate Standing Rules for the July 9, 2015 election of principal officers.