We Have Serious Case Against Saraki, FG Tells CCT
The Federal Government on Thursday asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal to dismiss the no-case submission filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to fault the evidence led by the prosecution in relation to the 16 charges of false declaration of assets and other related offences preferred against him.
The Senate President, through his no-case submission filed before the CCT on May 26, 2017, contended that none of the exhibits tendered and evidence given by the four prosecution witnesses linked him to the alleged offences to warrant him to defend the charges.
But arguing the Federal Government’s objection to the no-case submission on Thursday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said there was a ‘serious prima facie case’ against the Senate President.
Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, after hearing both the defence and the prosecution, on Thursday, said the date for the ruling would be communicated to the parties soon.
The prosecution had closed its case after its fourth witness, Mr Bayo Dauda, an official of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ilorin branch, started and concluded his testimony on May 4.
Shortly after Dauda was cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr. Paul Erokoro (SAN), the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), announced the closing of the prosecution’s case.
In response, Erokoro said the defence would file a no-case submission, contending that no credible evidence had been led by the prosecution to warrant Saraki to defend the charges.
Adopting the defendant’s written addresses before the CCT on Thursday, the lead defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), said the petition which precipitated the charges had nothing to do with his client.
Agabi said the charges, especially counts 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16, had disclosed no valid offences.
Agabi argued that the failure of the prosecution to disclose the name of the said authorised persons in the charges had rendered the charges invalid.
He also said two of the prosecution witnesses, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, an official of the Code of Conduct Bureau, and another operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Michael Wetkas, had only given hearsay testimonies as evidence.
But Jacobs said, “One method your lordship should adopt to show that there is a serious prima facie case against the defendant is to look at exhibits 6 and 26 which are assets declarations made by the defendant after the investigation of this case.
“My lordships will see that the defendant listed all the properties and stated that they were acquired in 92 and 99 and, now. If My Lord juxtaposes them with exhibits 1 to 5, some of the properties he claimed (were) acquired in 1999, 2002, and 2003, were not declared.”
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