As reported by The Nation, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki was cleared of charges preferred against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Wednesday on ten grounds known only to two men who made up the Tribunal judgement.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki was on Wednesday at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) cleared of the false assets declaration charge preferred against him.
Below are the major reasons the Code of Conduct Tribunal acquitted the Senate President.
Upholding Saraki’s “no-case submission”, the tribunal made up of two men, the Chairman and a member said:
- The prosecution failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on it under the law.
- The CCT Chairman Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar said the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Saraki to warrant his being called to defend himself.
- Umar faulted the evidence of the third prosecution witness, Samuel Madojemu (Head of Investigation at the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB) that he received oral instructions to join a team from other agencies to investigate Saraki.
- He said Madojemu was unhelpful to the prosecution when he (Madojemu) claimed that all information in the affidavit in support of the 18-count charge was based on information supplied to him by an undisclosed team of investigators.
- Umar said what the EFCC tendered before the tribunal was more of a product of intelligence gathering than of conventional investigation.
- It is wrong of the investigators not to have invited the defendant to make a statement so that the truth can be unearthed.
- Agwadza noted that while the prosecution alleged that Saraki was earning salary from the Kwara State government even as a Senator, it (prosecution) failed to call the state’s Accountant-General to prove that allegation.
- The prosecution failed to produce material evidence including the defendant’s statement and the original copies of his assets declaration forms.
- In criminal prosecution, he said, the onus was on the prosecution to prove its case, adding that where it fails in that duty, the defence could not be called to prove its innocence.
- The prosecution, he said, failed to call vital witnesses to “effectively link the defendant to the offences charged”.
The CCT noted that the evidence was so discredited, unreliable that no reasonable court will attach probate value to them.
He said the team referred to by Madojemu comprising operatives of the EFCC, DSS and CCB is unknown to law, adding that the team has no constitutional or statutory backing to have done what it did.