Supreme Court fixes July 6 to deliver judgment on Saraki’s asset declaration case

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The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed July 6 to deliver judgment  on the appeal filed by the President  of the Senate,  Bukola Saraki, in respect to the false asset declaration charges preferred against him.

The court will also deliver judgment on the cross appeal filed by the Federal Government with regard to the charges.

Justice Musa Dattijo, who presided over the matter, fixed the date for final judgment after taking arguments from both parties.

When the matter was called, Saraki asked the court to dismiss the 18-count criminal charge of false assets declaration brought against him by the government.

He told the court that the charges against him were frivolous, adding that a prima facie case was not established against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, (CCT), that tried him.

Counsel to Saraki, Mr Kanu Agabi, (SAN), while adopting his final address, insisted that the charges were brought against his client in bad faith by the government.

Agabi said that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) empowered to investigate Saraki on asset declaration did not do so as required by law.

He said that rather than CCB investigating Saraki, a purported report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was used to prepare the charges against him.

He argued that CCT was right in dismissing the charges during a ruling on Saraki’s no -case -submission because the purported report of EFCC was regarded as hearsay in law.

Agabi prayed the court to look into the testimony of the witnesses called by the government noting that all of them confirmed that there was no petition against Saraki on his declared assets.

However, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, (SAN), counsel to the government prayed the court to hold that Saraki had a case to answer.

Jacobs argued that there was no law that an investigation must be conducted before charges could be filed against a defendant.

The Federal Government had arraigned Saraki in 2015 at  CCT on false assets declaration charges.

Saraki was discharged and acquitted of the charges by the tribunal on the grounds that a prima facie case was not established against him.

The government then went on appeal and the Court of Appeal dismissed 15 out of the 18 count charges against Saraki.

The appellate court in its judgment delivered on Dec. 12, 2017, agreed that the dismissed 15 counts were based on hearsay and directed Saraki to defend himself on the remaining three counts.

Saraki subsequently headed to the Supreme Court praying it to dismiss all the charges. (NAN)

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