False Assets Declaration Trial: Saraki Asks Tribunal to Dismiss Case Against Him as He Makes No Case Submission

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, told the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), where he is standing trial for false assets declaration offences, that the prosecution has not been able to establish a prima facie case against.
Saraki asked the tribunal, Thursday, while making a no case submission, to discharge him on all the allegations against him on grounds that the prosecution team failed to link him with any of the offences in the 18-count charge.
He told the tribunal, through his counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, that the totality of evidence adduced by the prosecution against him were faulty and cannot be sustained in the face of law.
Saraki said the prosecution failed to establish the charges and there was so no need for him to open defence.
He said the charges against him were predicated on faceless petitioners and through out the case, the prosecution did not call any of the petitioners to testify.
He also held that the report of the investigations by security agencies were not made available to the tribunal.
Saraki’s counsel pleaded with the tribunal to discharge the Senate President because the defence was not able to establish that the petitions have anything to do with Saraki.
Agabi also held that apart from the investigations, the petitioners were not made available to the tribunal, “none of the petitioners was invited to prove the charges against the defendant”
Agabi said: “The petitions were founded on faceless petitioners”
The senior lawyer also drew the attention of the tribunal to some of counts in the charge sheet, adding they were full of anomalies.
He maintained that Saraki declared his assets as required by law. He said no one can make declaration that a statement of public officer is false unless such a person is authorised by law to do so.
Agabi referred the tribunal to the evidence of Samuel Madojemu, the head of investigation and Intelligent Unit of the Code of Conduct Bureau and his affidavit evidence, stating through out, he based his evidence on hearsay.
He therefore urged the tribunal to decide the no case submission on justice and not intelligence.
In his submission, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs insisted that a prima facie case has been established to warrant the defendant to enter his defence.
He drew the attention of the tribunal of asset forms filled by the defendant, which according to him, established false declaration of assets.
He said Saraki filled two forms before and during the case, saying there were discrepancies in the two forms.
Jocabs told the tribunal that discharging the defendant at no case level will defeat the fight against corruption and purpose of CCT.
He maintained that the name of defendant was mentioned in the petitioners, adding even without a petition a person can still be investigated and prosecuted.
The prosecution counsel urged the tribunal not to form opinion or evaluate evidence at this level.
He urged the tribunal to hold that prima facie case has been firmly established against the defendant.
The CCT Chairman Danladi Umar after taking arguments from both parties said he would sit down with other members on the panel to decide on the no case submission.
He said a date would be communicated to the parties after they might have finished sitting on the matter.

Author: News Editor

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