Appeal Court Orders Saraki To Face Trial
The Appeals Court in Abuja has ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to return to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to face trial on three of the 18 counts.
The three-man panel led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson on Tuesday unanimously dismissed 15 out of the 18 counts of false assets declaration instituted against Saraki, before the CCT.
The Judge, however, held that on counts 4, 5 and 6 bothering on the purchase of house 17 A and B at Mc Donald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos by the Senate President the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case.
Specifically, the appellate court held that the prosecution established that there were false claims in the set declaration forms as to how the two houses in Ikoyi were acquired.
The court held that the Senate President needs to provide an explanation 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.
“And it is hereby ordered that counts 4, 5 and 6 be remitted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The Appeal is dismissed in part in respects of counts 1,2,3,7,8,10,11,12,13,14,16,18,” Justice Akomolafe-Wilson said.
The federal government had on June 22, 2017 filed an 11-ground notice of appeal against the June 14, 2017 judgment of the CCT acquitting Saraki of the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him in September 2015.
Could this be the whistle that signals the end of Saraki's run as a member of APC?