NLNG Corporate Teamwork banner First bank FinTech summit Fidelity bank card banner Emerald Energy Institute Camano banner

Appeal Court dismisses 15 charges against saraki, upholds 3 for trial

By News Express on 12/12/2017

Gmail icon

Views: 809

•Senate President Bukola Saraki
•Senate President Bukola Saraki

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has dismissed 15 out of 18 counts false assets declaration charges brought against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Federal Government for being incompetent in the face of the law.

The court, however, remitted three count charges to the Code of Conduct Tribunal to conduct a retrial of Saraki so as to enable him defend himself properly on the charges.

The appellate court in the appeal filed by the federal government against the decision of the code of conduct tribunal which discharged and acquitted the senate president on the 18 count charge in a ruling on no case submission delivered in June this year said that Saraki has to make some explanations on the three counts only.

Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson in the 70-page unanimous judgment held that there was no evidence to substantiate the 15 out of the 18 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 McDonald Street, Ikoyi Lagos by the Senate president, the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against Saraki.

Specifically the appellate court held that the prosecution established that there were discrepancies in the claims on the asset declaration forms as to how the two houses in Ikoyi were acquired.

The Appeal Court held that the senate president needs to provide explanations 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.

Justice Akomolafe-Wilson said that from the totality of the evidence adduced at the tribunal, it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that the 15 counts knocked off were based on hearsay evidence that have no probate value.

The court further held that the information supplied in the report used to prepare the charge by the federal government against Saraki did not link Saraki directly with the charges as required by law.

The appellate court held that the federal government erroneously came to the conclusion that the onus to prove the 15 charges was on Saraki whereas it is an established fact that the party that alleges must be the one to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

The court faulted the federal government on the claim that Saraki collected salaries and emoluments from Kwara State government after he had left office as the executive governor of the state adding that it was a big surprise that no single witness was invited from Kwara State to prove the allegation.

The court also took swipe at the prosecution on the allegation that Saraki operated foreign account while he was in office as a state governor but called no witness to establish the allegation in line with section 37 of the Evidence Act.

In the 15 count charges that were dismissed, the court held that they were substantially based on hearsay that does not drive value from merit adding that in a criminal trial, evidence base on hearsay is inadmissible in law.

“On this point the Federal Government failed in the allegation of operation of foreign account by the defendant as no foreign bank account was linked to the defendant while also no direct evidence was obtained from Kwara State government to establish the allegation of payment of salaries to Saraki after he had left,” the Judge said.

The appeal court further held that the 48 documents tendered by the federal government and admitted by the tribunal were not from the appropriate sources that were supposed to tender them before they could be admitted in line with provisions of the law.

Having established prima facie case against Saraki in respect of counts 4,5 and 6 which bothered on the properties at McDonald Street, Ikoyi – Lagos, the court said that the tribunal should conduct trial so as to arrive at a just conclusion on the 3 charges instead of dismissing them at a no case submission stage.

“In conclusion, we find no merit in 15 out of 18 count charges brought against the defendant by the complainant and we hereby uphold the decision of the tribunal delivered in June this year on the finding.

“On the remaining three, it is hereby ordered that counts 4,5 and 6 be remitted to the tribunal for retrial to enable the defendant offer explanations where necessary.”

The federal government had on September 11, 2015 filed 13 count charges on false assets declaration against Saraki and later amended the charge and increased the counts to 18.

During the trial, 4 witnesses were called and 48 documents were tendered by government to establish the case of false assets declaration against Saraki.

However, at the close of the prosecution’s case, Saraki made a no case submission to the effect that he was not linked directly with any of the charges and that the charges were based on hearsay.

The tribunal headed by Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar in his ruling on the no case submission delivered in June this year, upheld Saraki’s claim that the charges were based on hearsay and discharged and acquitted him from the trial.

The federal government felt dissatisfied with the decision of the tribunal and approached the court of appeal with a prayer that the decision of the tribunal be set aside on the ground that there was a miscarriage of justice.

Meanwhile, the Senate President has indicated his readiness to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the validity of the three count upheld by the court of appeal against him.

His counsel, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, said that the judgment would be studied and that the apex court will be invited to adjudicate on the three charges with a view to get them nullified.

Counsel to the federal government, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, also said that the legal team of government will study the judgment and decide the next line of action. (PRNigeria)

Source News Express

Posted 12/12/2017 8:39:17 PM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
How Nigerian public officials pocket N400bn in bribes...

International auditors to probe NDDC’s N2tr debt

Gas explosion fire destroys farmlands in Imo

Visa cards: Payment system hit by outage in...

Military set to re-open Maiduguri/Baga road 2 years...

War update: TERRORIST LEADER ESCAPES WITH GUNSHOT WOUNDS...

14 in court over alleged membership of secret...

Reps want electricity restored in North East

BREAKING: Pro-Biafra protests rock Enugu

Ogoniland clean-up a grand fraud — Wike

Lecturer drags Kaduna State University to court over...

Landslide kills 6 Sokoto State

 

Latest News Why we can’t make public asset declarations of President, others — CCB Fear grips students as killers lay siege to Otuoke Varsity Notorious kidnapper, 16 others nabbed in Plateau Ihedioha, Okorocha in pension figure battle 3 fake journalists arrested in National Assembly trying to extort Petroleum Minister Sanwo-Olu, Okonkwo parley ASPAMDA, Trade Fair market leaders on infrastructure development Senate investigates N2.5bn NDDC contract inflation Magodo collapsed building: Lagos Govt marks over 100 houses for demolition Buhari orders forensic audit of NDDC operations from 2001 Oyo Governor unveils details of state security architecture •Set to launch vigilante services 35 killed in Saudi Arabia bus crash Delta NLC suspends minimum wage strike

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (551,291 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (447,483 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (395,050 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (330,828 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (299,084 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (264,726 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (256,144 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (253,445 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (234,935 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (221,126 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (198,624 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (195,836 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (105) Business & Economy (4,498) Business Verdict (85) Columnists (1,130) Complaints & Requests (96) Enterprise & Opportunities (217) Entertainment (690) Features (833) Global Business Monitor (466) ICT Monitor (66) International (4,086) Interview (204) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (174) Maggie's Blog (448) News (52,761) Opinion (1,396) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,582) Religion (1,111) Sports (2,196) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera