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Published On: Fri, Apr 13th, 2018

False assets declaration: Saraki knows fate at S/Court July 6

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Saraki-CCTBy Vivian Okejeme Abuja

The Supreme Court, yesterday, fixed July 6, to deliver judgement on the appeal filed by Senator President, Dr. BukolaSaraki seeking dismissal of the 18-count charge of false assets declaration brought against him by the federal government.
The Apex court, presided over by Justice Musa Mohammed Dattijo, fixed the date after the parties in the matter adopted thier final written addresses.
Saraki had through his counsel, KanuAgabi SAN, asked the court to dismiss the charges against him, insisting that the charges were frivolous and that prima facie case was not established against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal that tried him.
In his adoption of final address, Saraki insisted that the charges were brought against him in bad faith by the federal government because the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) empowered to investigate him on asset declaration matter did not do so as required by law.
In his submissions, Agabi aver that a purported report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was used to prepare the charge against the Senator instead of the CCB investigating him.
He argued that the code of conduct tribunal was right in dismissing the charge during a ruling in his no case submission because the purported report of EFCC was hearsay in law.
He therefore, called on the court to look into the testimony of the witnesses called by the Federal government adding that all of them confirmed that there was no petition against him on his declared assets and hence, no investigation was conducted on the same by the CCB.
On his part, Counsel to the Federal Government Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN urged the court to hold that Saraki has case to answer in the charges.
He submitted that there was no law that an investigation must be conducted before charges can be preferred against any defendant.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Dattijo, fixed July 6 for final judgment after taking arguments from both parties.
Saraki was in 2015 arraigned at the CCT on false assets declaration charges after which the tribunal discharged and acquainted him on the ground that prima facie case was not established him.
Chairman of the Tribunal Mr. DanladiYakubu Umar in the ruling on a no case submission held that the charges were based on hearsay and that the tribunal cannot convict anybody on the hearsay charges.
However, in an appeal at the Court of Appeal filed by the Federal government, the appellate court dismissed 15 out of the 18 count charges against Saraki.
The Appeal Court in its judgment delivered on December 12 last year agreed that the dismissed 15 counts were based on hearsay and directed Saraki to defend himself only on three counts.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the appeal court, Saraki approached the Supreme Court challenging the appeal.

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