After Supreme Court clearance, Saraki’s corruption trial to resume

FILE PHOTO: The embattled senate president is currently on trial for alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has issued notice to resume the trial of President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on March 10.

The spokesperson for tribunal, Ibrahim Alhassan on Friday said the body had issued and served notice of hearing on parties to the matter.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation had dragged Mr. Saraki before the tribunal, slamming 13-count charge of false assets declaration, anticipatory declaration of assets and other abuses on him.

The prosecutor said the offences violated Nigeria’s Code of Conduct for public officers.

Mr. Saraki, who has denied any wrongdoing, had challenged the tribunal’s jurisdiction and constitution up to the Supreme Court which struck out his appeal last Friday.

The notice of resumption of trial was, therefore, sequel to the Supreme Court ruling which upheld Mr. Saraki’s trial at the Tribunal.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had asked the Tribunal to issue date for resumption of Mr. Saraki’s trial, following the Supreme apex court’s ruling.

One of Mr. Saraki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji, SAN, said he was not aware that a notice of resumption of trial had been served.

“May be the notice was served at either the chamber of J.B. Daudu or Mahmud,” Mr. Raji told PREMIUM TIMES, in reference to other defence lawyers.

Messrs Daudu could not be reached Friday night. He did not answer or return multiple calls made to his telephone.

The lead prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacob, did not also answer or return calls seeking comments.
Mr. Saraki’s media assistant, Bankole Omishore, also said he had no details on the matter.

Mr. Saraki was docked by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge on September 18 for alleged corruption and false declaration of assets.

He was specifically accused of deliberately manipulating the asset declaration form he submitted prior to his assumption of his current position as senate president.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges even as he subtly attributed his predicament to his emergence as senate president on June 9 against the wishes of his party, the All Progressives Congress.

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