CCT trial: Saraki yet to receive FG’s appeal notice

Bukola Saraki

ABUJA— Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said he was yet to be formally notified of an appeal by the Federal Government against his acquittal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Saraki was discharged and acquitted of false asset declaration charges by the tribunal a week ago, with the outcome stunning many Nigerians, including some civic groups who called on the United Nations to intervene in Nigeria’s legal system that they perceived too lenient towards impunity.

Although the Federal Government, through its counsel in the case, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had announced that it had appealed the verdict of the CCT, chaired by Danladi Umar, Saraki said he has not received any notification to that effect.

Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, also said in a statement on Wednesday that he had ordered that the appeal be filed.

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However, spokesman to the Senate President, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, said his principal had not been served of such process.

“We’re not aware of the notice,” Mr. Olaniyonu said.

Saraki, a member of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was slammed with 18-count false asset declaration charges in September 2015, three months after his emergence as leader of the Senate, in defiance of an internal arrangement of his party.

The Code of Conduct Bureau, which filed the charges, relied predominantly on evidence submitted by an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Michael Wetkas.

After several adjournments, the prosecution finally concluded its case before the tribunal on May 4, 2017, and Mr. Saraki’s counsel immediately entered a no-case submission, which was subsequently upheld by Mr. Umar last week.

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