THE Supreme Court has cleared Bukola Saraki, Senate President, of all charges of false declaration of assets brought against him by the federal government.
The unanimous verdict was given on Friday by a panel of five Justices lead by Justice Centus Nweze.
Saraki was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in September 2015 on a 13-count charge which was later amended to 16 counts, and later to 18 counts. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
One of the charges claimed that Saraki had stated in his assets declaration form that he acquired properties at Numbers 17a and 17b Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos on September 16, 2006, from the proceeds of sale of rice and sugar commodities. But investigations revealed that the said property were bought through a N507 million loan obtained from Guaranty Trust Bank.
However, after the prosecution had finished his case, Kanu Agabi, Saraki’s lawyer, filed a no-case submission, saying “the prosecution has not made out a case warranting an answer from the defendant”.
The tribunal upheld the submission and discharged Saraki.
Not satisfied, the federal government appealed the judgement. The Court of Appeal ruled that while 15 of the 18 charges against Saraki were correctly struck out, the Senate President has cases to answer on the remaining three.
Why this judgement of Supreme Court is rather controversial considering Saraki cannot be seen as innocent of all the charges, it’s normal seeing him as the Chief Justice of Federation has always warned the court not to give judgment that would favour one political dominance.
Remember how the PDD leadership case turned out. Also questions maybe be asked of why Saraki picked a calabar lawyer instead of Mike Ozhekome knowing the CJ is from same place