Appeal court returns Saraki to CCT to face trial on 3 charges

EFCC ICPC others re-looting recovered funds – Saraki

Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, who delivered the 70-page unanimous judgment on behalf of the three-member panel of justices of the appeallate court, ordered the tribunal to try Saraki on three out of the 18 counts amended charges bordering on false declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Monday urged Nigerian youth and the people in general to quit blaming government or its programmes for the high level of unemployment in the country.

The prosecution team, led by Mr Rotimi Jacobs, filed the amended charge on February 8 after trial had begun.

Saraki was initially standing trial on a 13-count charge of false asset declaration.

Saraki meanwhile, has rejected the ruling, saying he would file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

The court, on Tuesday, reportedly dismissed 15 of the 18 counts of false assets declaration made against him.

The panel, however, agreed with the EFCC that "there was ample evidence" that discrepancies exist in the claims about the acquisition of the Ikoyi properties on the asset declaration forms, which requires the defendant to make further explanation as public servants are not permitted to engage in any form of business venture apart from agriculture.

The post Breaking: A/Court strikes out 15 charges against Saraki, orders fresh trial by CCB appeared first on Vanguard News.

In count five, the prosecution accused Saraki of making false asset declaration at the end of his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on the assumption of office as a senator in 2011 when he declared that he acquired No. 17B McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos on September 6, 2006, from proceeds of the sale of rice and sugar.

Justice Akomolafe-Wilson said, the prosecution erroneously came to the conclusion that the burden of proof on the 15 charges rest on the respondent, whereas it is an established fact that the party that alleges must be the one to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

"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 court held.

Similarly, the court faulted the prosecution for failing to call the relevant witnesses to support its allegation that Saraki operated a foreign account while he was in office as governor of Kwara State.

Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, had held that with its four witnesses and 48 documentary exhibits tendered, the prosecution failed to establish a strong case against Saraki.

"At least, today's judgment has confirmed the position of the Tribunal that the prosecution's case was entirely based on hearsay, not on any concrete evidence".

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, he said "we believe that upholding the no-case submission by Dr Saraki with regards to 15 of the 18 counts charges vindicates the innocence of the Senate President". Thus, it is our view that that aspect of the judgment will not stand.

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