Presidency Reacts Angrily To Saraki’s Victory At Code Of Conduct Tribunal
Presidency has, described as outrageous and travesty of justice the acquittal of Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which upheld the no-case submission of the Senate President, Punch reports.
The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, wondered why the CCT dismissed the weight of “overwhelming evidence” against Saraki, who was tried for false asset declaration by the Federal Government.
The CCT in Abuja had discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him.
The two-man panel of the CCT, led by its Chairman, Danladi Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission, filed by Saraki after the prosecution closed its case with 48 exhibits tendered and after the testimonies of the fourth and the last prosecution witness on May 4, 2017.
But the Transparency International (Nigeria) and a chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, among others, described the judgment as sad and a calculated attempt to frustrate the war against corruption in the country.
The CCT chairman, Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki of all the charges on, among other grounds, the failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it part of the proof of evidence.
He described as “absurd” that neither Saraki’s statement nor the report of investigation said to have been carried out was produced before the tribunal.
He agreed with the defence team, led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the prosecution’s evidence had been manifestly discredited during cross-examination by the defence.
He added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), was “so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could convict” anyone based on it.
Umar also noted that the evidence of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, an operative of the EFCC, was unreliable.
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