The Apex court in Nigeria, the Supreme Court has, in a unanimous decision, cleared the senate president Bukola Saraki of any wrongs on all 18 count charge of false asset declaration and allied accusations that were leveled against him by the federal government.
The Supreme Court’s five-man panel gave this judgment on Friday after a protracted legal battle between Senator Bukola Saraki and the Federal Government. The Federal Government is accusing Senator Bukola Saraki of false asset declaration.
The Supreme Court, in a lead judgment by Justice Centus Nweze, accused the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja of “forensic somersault” for asking Saraki to answer to all but three of the charges he had been cleared of by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
It will be recalled that the federal Government had charge Senator Bukola Saraki over false declaration of Asset at the Code of Conduct Bureau in 2015 shortly after Senator Saraki emerged as the Senate president of the Country. However, the Code of Conduct Bureau led by Danladi Umar, in 2017, cleared Senator Saraki of all charges leveled against him labeling the accusations against Saraki as mere hearsay as the prosecution failed to provide first hand evidences linking Senator Saraki to all the allegations that were proffered against him by the federal government.
The federal Government however, appealed the decision of the CCT, at the Appeal Court in Abuja. The Appeal Court in December 2017 reinstated 3 of the 18 charges against Saraki and ordered the senate president to return to the Code of Conduct Tribunal to defend those three charges.
However, this decision of the Appeal Court was challenged and appealed by the legal counsels to Senator Bukola Saraki at the Supreme Court, seeking to quash the decision of the appeal court and uphold the judgment of the CCT.
The Supreme Court ruling on Friday, which uphold the decision of the Code Of Conduct Tribunal thus put to bed the almost three year running legal battle, and cleared the Senate president Bukola Saraki of any wrongdoing in the declaration of his assets.
Report by Olusegun Badejo for IbadanCity Announcer