Former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara
By Tobi Soniyi
The Supreme Court Friday ordered a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara to return to an Abuja High Court to face trial over alleged N55 million bribe-for-budget deal.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had arraigned Wabara and four others on April 11, 2005 before Justice Hussein Mukhtar of an Abuja High Court for allegedly obtaining money to facilitate easy passage of the budget of the Federal Ministry of Education in 2005.
They were accused of committing offences contrary to sections 9(1) (a); 17(a); 23(2); 26(1) and punishable under Section 8(1); 9(1) (b); 17(c); 23(3) of the ICPC Act 2000.
Other accused persons are a former Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji, Senator Ibrahim AbdulAzeez, Senator Azuta Mbata and Garba Matazu.
Two other suspects (Senators Emmanuel Okpede and Badamosi Maccido) have died and their names struck out of the charge sheet.
The accused had earlier urged the trial court to quash the charges against them, but Justice Muktar, on November 10, 2005, dismissed the request.
Three of the suspects (Wabara, AbdulAzeez and Osuji) later went to the Court of Appeal in Abuja challenging the judgement of the high court.
On June 2, 2010, the appellate court set the three accused persons free and quashed the 15-count charge brought against them by the ICPC.
Not satisfied by the decision, the anti graft agency had approached the apex court to challenge the decision.
In unanimous judgement of the court delivered by Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad Friday, the apex court set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal which quashed the charge against the accused persons.
The court therefore restored the decision of the high and ordered the remittance of the case file to the high court for "expeditious trial."