By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has said that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has no case to answer, thereby throwing out the charges filed against him by the Federal Government, bordering on false declaration of assets.
The judgement was presented by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar on Wednesday.
The Federal Government had in September 16, 2015 filed a 13-Count charge against the Senate President for alleged false declaration and anticipatory ddeclaration.
This was amended to an 16-Count on April 27, 2016 , increased to 17 on January 11, 2017 and finally 18 on February 23, 2017.
Saraki’s lawyers had filed a no case submission after the Prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN had filed its submission and presented witnesses.
The CCT agreed with Saraki’s legal team that he has no case to answer and he was discharged and acquitted.
On May 4, the senate president told the tribunal that he would file a no-case submission, which implies that he is not opening a defence but asking the tribunal to discharge him of the charges because there is no case against him.
This was after the prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs called its final witness and closed its case.
Danladi Umar, chairman of the tribunal, held that the prosecution did not prove its case against the accused person.
He said the testimonies of four witnesses presented by the prosecution were discredited, and as a result were unreliable.
He, therefore, dismissed the case, discharging the Senate President of the charges.
The federal government had brought multiple counts of false asset declaration against Saraki. But the witnesses it brought to his trial gave contradictory testimonies.
A witness from the Code of Conduct of Bureau (CCB), which filed the charges on behalf of the government, even said that the agency did not conduct an independent investigation before filing them.
During his trial which started in 2015, Saraki was represented by at least five lawyers, who are senior advocates of Nigeria, and about 106 other lawyers.
Before the senate president’s discharge on Wednesday, the CCT had dismissed two applications he filed asking it to dismiss the charges against him.
He had even gone to the Supreme court to have the charges quashed, but the apex court returned him to the tribunal which eventually cleared him of the charges on Wednesday.