The Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja has ruled for embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki to use all members of his 90-man legal team to defend and cross-examine the prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar gave the ruling Tuesday in Abuja following an objection raised by the prosecution, Rotimi Jacobs to a motion by the defendant to allow another counsel on his legal team, Paul Erokoro SAN to cross-examine his witness, Michael WetKas.
The court granted Saraki the right to make use of all his legal team to defend himself within the confines of the law.
The prosecution earlier argued that it was not proper for the defendant to make use of several lawyers at the same time saying that defendant is only entitled to a lead lawyer to speak on any matter in the court. That if any lawyers in his team have anything to ask the witness such can be channelled through the lead counsel. Jacobs also told the court that there must be a time limit to cross-examine the witness.
“That the defendant has three Senior Advocate (s) of Nigeria (SAN) does not mean that each of them should cross-examine the witness. Jacobs asked the court to direct the defense counsel to conclude and close his cross-examination instead of wasting the time of the court.
While objecting to this position, Erokoro argued that there was no law supporting the claim made by the prosecution. He said that anyone of them on the legal team can continue when the lead counsel is tired.
The latest tactic was seen as a fresh attempt by Saraki to delay the trial by bringing different experts to waste time and wear down the prosecution with cross-examination. Saraki’s legal team is being perceived as wasting the time of the tribunal as it awaits a decision of the Court of Appeal on his application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.