Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Nigerian gov’t appeals CCT acquittal of Saraki

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Jaafar Jaafarhttps://dailynigerian.com/
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The federal government has appealed the judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, which acquitted the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of charges of corruption and false declaration of assets.

The government on Tuesday filed 11-ground appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, challenging the judgment of the CCT.

The notice of appeal was signed by Rotimi Jacobs and Pius Akutah, an assistant Chief State Counsel.

The government is seeking an order setting aside the CCT judgment of June 14 that upheld the no case submission filed by Mr Saraki at the close of the prosecution’s case.

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The federal government also prayed the Court of Appeal for an order calling upon Mr Saraki to enter his defence.

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The CCT on Wednesday last week cleared Mr Saraki of the 18 count criminal charges over alleged false asset declaration brought against him.

Danladi Umar, the tribunal chairman said  the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Mr Saraki.

He therefore upheld the no-case submission made by the defendant’s counsel, Kanu Agabi.

In the notice of appeal which was filed yesterday, the government said the judgment was unconstitutional, without jurisdiction, unwarranted, unreasonable and against the weight of evidence.

It argued that the Tribunal failed to analyse and evaluate the evidence of the prosecution witnesses before reaching its no case submission.

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The government held that the CCT failed to point out any apparent discredited evidence on the face of the record before upholding the no case submission.

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According to the government, the power of the CCT when upholding a no case submission is to discharge Saraki and not to acquit him.

It said the findings of the CCT that EFCC did not invite Mr Saraki was not supported by the evidence tendered by the prosecution which was Mr Saraki’s handwritten statement made after caution.

It said the CCT failed to be bound by the judicial precedent of a superior court of record and has denied the government its right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution.

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It was further stated that the CCT unfairly closed its eye to relevant testimony of prosecution witness and the various documents generated by the Guaranty Trust Bank which were admitted as evidence before the Court.

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