CCT Trial: Saraki to Make No-case Submission

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

Senate President, Dr, Bukola Saraki, has told the Code of Conduct Tribunal of his intention to make a no-case submission in the false asset declaration charges slammed on him by the federal government since 2015.

Saraki, through his counsel, Paul Erokoro, informed the tribunal that he would need the complete record of proceedings since 2015 when the case started to enable him make his no-case submission in line with provisions of the law.

The decision of Saraki to make a no-case submission came as the federal government formally concluded its trial after calling four witnesses and tendering several documents to establish a case of false asset declaration against the defendant.

Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) who had handled the prosecution since inception did not object to the decision of the defendant to file a no-case submission on the grounds that the defendant has a right to do so.
He, however, pleaded with the tribunal to take into consideration the fact that the trial has spanned nearly two years.

Responding, the Chairman of the tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, after consultation with parties in the matter, fixed June 8 for the tribunal to adopt written submission expected to be filed and exchange by counsel in the suit.
At the resumed trial yesterday, a prosecution witness, Bayo Dauda, staff of a commercial bank had informed the tribunal that the documents allegedly used for foreign transaction were not in possession of the bank.
He stated that all efforts to locate the documents were unsuccessful because the transaction took place long time ago.

Besides, the witness further said he has no address of any property bought by Saraki with the alleged foreign remittances.

He, however, admitted that Saraki like any other customer, took loan three times from the bank and had also repaid the loans in line with the agreement.

The witness informed the tribunal that the defendant apart from not defaulting in the payment of the loan, also complied with other terms of the loan which included submission to the bank, the title documents purchased with the loan.

Dauda further added that Saraki had equally procured comprehensive insurance on the properties purchased with the loan. The federal government in 2015 shortly after Saraki’s emergence as Senate President, dragged him before the tribunal, accusing him of failure to declare his asset in line with the law.
The government had amended the charges against the Senate President four times before closing its case.