CCT: Saraki Has No Case To Answer — Supreme Court

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Senator Bukola Saraki
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THE Supreme Court on Friday upheld the appeal of Senate President Bukola Saraki and ruled that he has no case to answer before the Code of Conduct Tribunal(CCT).

In a lead judgment delivered by Justice Centus Nweze, the apex court discharged him of the remaining three counts against him in the case of false declaration of assets.

It relied on section 302 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, and discharged the embattled Senate President of all the allegations against him.

While upholding Saraki’s appeal, the apex court panel held that the Court of Appeal committed “judicial equivalent of forensic somersault” by ordering the appellant to open his defence to the criminal charge, even after it noted that all material evidence the prosecution adduced before the CCT amounted to hearsay evidence.

Justice Centus Nweze who delivered the lead judgment, wondered why the lower court, having held that totality of the proof of evidence were inadmissible, turned round to order the appellant to defend three counts in the charge, based on the same evidence.

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It held that FG could not have established a prima-facie case against the appellant on the basis of hearsay and inadmissible proof of evidence.

Besides, the apex court panel held that the lower court was right when it observed that FG failed to produce witnesses that had direct knowledge of facts of the case.

However, Saraki, who had since closed his defence before the CCT inline with the judgment of the appellate court, prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the Court of Appeal judgment and reinstate the June 14, 2017, verdict of the Mr. Danladi Umar-led CCT panel that discharged and acquitted him of all the allegations FG levelled against him

Saraki, through his team of lawyers led by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, maintained that the decision of the appellate court with respect to the three charges against him, amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

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