Trouble for Saraki as Appeal Court upturns his acquittal by CCT

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Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson of the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed 15 out of the 18-count amended charges of false assets declaration brought by the federal government and ordered against the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki and ordered the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCB) to conduct a fresh trial on three of the charges.

Akomolafe-Wilson who headed a three-man panel held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against Saraki on counts 4, 5 and 6 which border on the purchase of house 17 A and B at Mc Donald Street in Ikoyi, Lagos.

He said there were false claims in the declaration forms stating how the senate president acquired the two houses in Ikoyi.

Consequently, the three-man panel unanimously ordered the senate president to return to the CCT to face trial on the three counts.

It would be recalled that the federal government had, in February 2016, filed an 18-count charge bordering on false assets declaration against the senate president.

The prosecution team, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, filed the amended charge on February 8 after trial had begun.

Saraki was initially standing trial on a 13-count charge of false asset declaration.

It would also be recall that in a unanimous decision, the two-man CCT headed by Justice Danladi Umar on June 14 discharged and acquitted Saraki of the charges.

The tribunal held that the federal government had failed to prove essential elements of all the allegations it levelled against Saraki.

Also recall that the tribunal had held that oral and documentary evidence which the federal government had adduced before it were discredited during cross-examination, saying the proof of evidence was so “manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court or tribunal could rely on it to make any conviction.”

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