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Assets declaration: Tribunal sets Feb 6 for Saraki’s re-trial

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has fixed February 6 for commencement of re-trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over threecount charge bothering on false assets declaration.

 

The tribunal had earlier discharged Saraki of the entire 18-count charge, but the Court of Appeal reversed the decision and asked Saraki to return to the tribunal to defend himself on three out of the initial 18 counts.

 

The tribunal had fixed the date based on an application filed by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN) seeking for a trial date. Meanwhile, Saraki had approached the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement of the Court of Appeal which set aside his acquittal.

 

In the same vein, the Federal Government had equally filed a cross appeal to challenge the striking out of 15 out of the 18 counts against Saraki.

 

On his part, the Senate President is praying the Supreme Court to uphold the ruling of the CCT which, in a no-case submission, discharged and acquitted him on the ground that the charges against him were predicated on hearsay which has no basis in law.

 

Saraki, in the appeal filed by his lead counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on December 12, 2017 which voided 15 count charges against him and ordered him to defend himself from the remaining three. The Federal Government, in a cross-appeal, prayed the apex court to restore the 18-count charges back to the tribunal for Saraki to defend himself upon.

 

The Federal Government contended that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that 15 charges against Saraki were voided because they were based on hearsay. In his ruling delivered on June 13, 2017, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, agreed with Saraki that prima facie case was not made against him and that the entire charges were based on hearsay evidence and consequently discharged and acquitted the defendant.

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