Medicine

A'Court Affirms CCT Ruling on 15 Charges Against Saraki

A'Court Affirms CCT Ruling on 15 Charges Against Saraki

The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was successful today as the Court of Appeal dismissed 15 out of the 18 count charges that were filed against him.

Umar added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), was "so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could convict" anyone based on it.

Justice Akomolafe-Wilson, in the 70-page unanimous judgment, struck out 15 of the 18 charges brought by the government against the ruling of the tribunal on the grounds that they were incompetent.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the federal government failed to call the vital witness to prove its allegations against Saraki, which included that he drew salary four years after leaving office as a governor.

The senate president and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appellate court, in the judgment in the appeal brought before it by the Federal Government against the decision of the tribunal on the no-case submission of the Senate President, knocked out 15 out of the 18-count charge.

Akomolafe-Wilson said the politician must explain the perceived discrepancies in his claims regarding properties he allegedly bought with loans from commercial banks in the country's commercial capital Lagos - contrary to his claim that he had bought them with funds from sales of his farm produce.

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Counts 4, 5 and 6 bother on the purchase of house 17 A and B at McDonald Street, Ikoyi Lagos by the Senate President.

The tribunal headed by Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar, in his ruling on the no case submission delivered on June 14, 2017, upheld Saraki's claim that the charges were based on hearsay and discharged and acquitted him of the 18-count charge.

The court concluded that credible evidence was led by the prosecution on counts 4,5,6 to warrant the defendant to be called upon to defend himself on how he acquired the properties disclosed in the three counts.

"We remain convinced about the innocence of the Senate President on the three (or two) counts because we believe the decision of the Court of Appeal is not consistent with the submissions made by both parties at the tribunal".

The prosecution also alleged that while being a public officer, the ex-governor operated bank accounts outside Nigeria and failed to declare the foreign accounts to the CCB while being governor and a senator during the period.

The court ordered that the case be remitted back to the tribunal for the Senate president to enter his defence.


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