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Saraki files no case submission in assets declaration trial

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The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to dismiss the false assets declaration charges brought against him by the Federal Government. He hinged the call on the alleged failure of the prosecution to establish any prima facie case.

At the resumed trial yesterday in Abuja, Saraki told the tribunal that from the 18-count charge and the totality of evidence adduced by prosecution witnesses, he had not been linked in anyway with the allegations.

In his no case submission argued by his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), he maintained that the prosecution had failed to establish the charges and as such, there was no need for him to open his defence, as the claims were predicated on petitions.

According to the Senate President, the outcome of investigation on the petitions by the prosecution was never available for verification.

He urged the tribunal to review the petitions to see for itself that they had nothing to do with his person, adding that none of the petitioners was invited as a witness.

Agabi told the panel that he personally made the no case submission for his client because the charges against him were founded on faceless petitions.

He, therefore, pleaded with the tribunal to dismiss the charges in order to discourage writers of faceless petitions.

He maintained that Saraki declared his assets as required by law and no one can make declaration that the statement of a public officer was false unless such a person is authorised by law.

Opposing the application, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), insisted that a serious prima facie case had been established against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence.

He drew the attention of the tribunal to some assets forms of the defendant where he said investigations have established false declaration of assets.

Rotimi further told the tribunal that discharging the defendant at a no case submission level would defeat the fight against corruption.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, told the counsel that they will be informed in due course of a ruling date.



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