Appeal Court Orders Retrial Of Saraki On Three Counts
The Court of Appeal has ordered the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to conduct a retrial of the Senate President Bukola Saraki on three out of 18-count amended charge on false declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government.
The appellate court in the appeal filed by the Federal Government against the decision of the code of conduct tribunal that the Senate President has no case to answer knocked out 15 of the 18 count charges as incompetent.
Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson in her judgment on Tuesday held that there was no evidence to substantiate the 15 counts as valid charges.
The Judge, however, held that on counts 4, 5 and 6 bothering on the purchase of house 17 A and B at Mc Donald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos by the Senate President the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against the Senate president.
Specifically, the appellate court held that the prosecution established that there were false claims in the set declaration forms as to how the two houses in Ikoyi were acquired.
The court held that the Senate President needs to provide an explanation to the discrepancies established by the prosecution that the properties he claimed were bought from sales of rice and sugar in his asset declaration form were bought from loans acquired from a commercial bank.
“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.
“And it is hereby ordered that counts 4, 5 and 6 be remitted to the code of conduct tribunal. The Appeal is dismissed in part in respects of counts 1,2,3,7,8,10,11,12,13,14,16,18,” Justice Akomolafe-Wilson said.
However, she said that the prosecution established a case against the Senate President in counts 4, 5, 6.
The case is returned to the Code of Conduct Tribunal in respect of the three counts.
A three-man panel of Justices of the appellate court, led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson in Abuja had earlier in November adjourned its judgment to December 12, on an appeal filed by the Federal Government challenging the dismissal of the 18-count criminal charges it preferred against the Senate President, Saraki, before the CCT.
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