False Asset Declaration: Saraki has no case to answer- CCT
The Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja, Wednesday, discharged and acquitted the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki on the alleged false assets declaration charges filed against him on the grounds that there was no prima facie case against the defendant.
The tribunal held that the formulation of the 18 charges was predicated on the testimony of the third prosecution witness and Chief Investigation Officer at the CCB, Mr Samuel Madujemu.
He had testified that details of the outcome of the investigation were based on information given to him by the “team”; a term which is regarded as invalid in law, as it has no constitutional or statutory backing.
According to the tribunal, this was a fatal flaw of the prosecution as the evidence rendered all evidence of the prosecution invalid hence the declaration that Mr Saraki was discharged and acquitted.
The CCB had on September 16, 2015 filed a 13-count charge against Saraki for alleged false and anticipatory declaration of assets.
The charges were increased to 15 on April 18, 2016 and another charge was added on April 27, 2016 to make it 16.
The government later increased the charges to 17 on January 11, 2017 and finally to 18 on February 23, 2017.
The Danladi Umar-led two-man panel of the CCT had reserved its ruling after hearing Saraki’s no-case submission and the Federal Government’s objection to it on June 8.
The Senate President, through his no-case submission filed before the CCT on May 26, 2017, contended that none of the exhibits tendered and no evidence given by the four prosecution witnesses linked him to the alleged offences to warrant him to defend the charges.