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12 Dec 2017

CCT: Appeal Court To Deliver Judgment on Saraki's Acquittal Today

Senate President Bukola Saraki will today know his fate at the appellate court where the Federal Government is challenging his acquittal.
Bukola Saraki
The Court of Appeal in Abuja is to deliver judgment on the appeal filed by the Federal Government to challenge the acquittal of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal today (Tuesday).

A Punch correspondent confirmed that the Court of Appeal issued hearing notices and served same on parties to the appeal on Monday.

The three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson had reserved judgment after parties adopted their appellant’s and respondent’s briefs on November 14, 2017.

The Federal Government had on June 22, 2017 filed grounds notice of appeal against the June 14, 2017 judgment of the CCT acquitting Saraki of the  18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him in September 2015.

The two-man panel of the CCT headed by Danladi Umar had held that the prosecution, with its four witnesses and 48 documentary exhibits tendered, failed to establish any prima facie case against Saraki.

Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki, holding that the failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it a part of the proof of evidence was fatal to the case.

He said it was 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” Saraki based on it.

However, displeased with the judgement, the Federal Government appealed it.

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