Alleged False Declaration Of Assets: Saraki’s CCT Trial To Hold Daily
The trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false declaration of assets has been adjourned till Tuesday.
The Tribunal adjourned the case after it set a day-to-day hearing that will hold from 10:00am to 6:00pm daily.
The Senate President arrived the Tribunal in the company of a few lawmakers.
Hearing started at 12PM after the prosecution asked for a one-hour stand-down owing to the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs being absent because he was before the Court of Appeal.
On resumption at 12PM, the prosecution witness, Michael Wekpas, was back on the witness stand and he tendered the asset declaration form of the Senate President for the year 2011 as exhibit and again. The defence counsel reserved its objection to a later date.
After tendering the document, the witness began his testimony. He spoke about a property on No. 15a and 15b MacDonald Street Ikoyi, which was bought from the presidential committee on sales of government properties and was allegedly bought by Tiny-Tee Company owned by the Senate President.
He said that the property was declared by the Senate President as his property but when the investigators wrote to the presidential committee to verify the ownership, their response was that from their records, the property was listed only as No. 15 MacDonald Street Ikoyi Lagos.
He added that 75% of the payment for that property, which he put at 124 million Naira, was paid from a commercial bank account owned by another company of the Senate President.
Still testifying on the property bought from the Presidential implementation committee on sales of Federal Government properties, he said that the policy of the committee was that a person could only purchase one property but that the Senate President, by their findings, had three property acquired from the sale using company and personal name.
Another stand-down was also observed for 15 minutes. In total 42 documents have been tendered in the case.
Earlier, prior to the initial one-hour stand-down, the Chairman of the Tribunal, ordered a day-to-day hearing on the charges pending against the Senate President.
“Let me state it here for both the prosecution and the defence that the trial of the defendant shall proceed on a day-to-day basis till the conclusion of this matter and it will begin from 10:00am to 6:00pm,” Justice Danladi Umar held.
During the last hearing on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, prosecutors had tendered over 20 documents to prove their charges of false declaration of assets against the Senate President.
The first prosecution witness, Mr Micheal Wekpas told the Tribunal how loans and fund in the accounts of the defendant were allegedly used to buy property in the United Kingdom, Abuja and Lagos State.
He also told the Tribunal that long after the Senate President ended his tenure as Governor of Kwara State, the state continued to pay his salaries until October 31, 2015.
The trial was then adjourned till April 18, 2016 for continuation of hearing and cross-examination.
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