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FG asks Supreme Court to restore charges against Saraki



The Federal Government has asked the Supreme Court to restore the charges it brought against Senate President, Bukola Saraki, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The federal government wants the Supreme Court to set aside part the December 12, 2017 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which struck out 15 of the 18 charges against Saraki.

The government’s request is contained in a cross-appeal it filed, complaining against part of the judgment, particularly where the Appeal Court held that the prosecution did not establish a prima facie case in counts 1, 2, 3, 7 and 18 of the false assets declaration trial.

Saraki was charged before the CCT on charges of corruption and false declaration of assets.

At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, Saraki made a no case submission, which the CCT, in a ruling of June 14, 2017, upheld and discharged and acquitted him on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Upon appeal at the Appeal Court by the state, the appellate court, in its December 12, 2017 judgment, held among others that the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against Saraki in three of the 18 –count charge brought against the Senate president.

The counts are – 4, 5 and 6.

The Appeal Court ordered that Saraki be made to enter defence in respect of the three charges when trial resumes before the CCT.

Saraki had since approached the Supreme Court for relief and asked the apex court to set aside the aspect of the judgment where he was ordered to enter defence before the CCT.

But, in its 15-ground cross appeal, the prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), wants the 15 counts voided by the Court of Appeal restored by the Supreme Court to enable Saraki defend himself against all the 18 charges.

The cross appellant faulted the Court of Appeal’s decision that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case in relation to the voided 15 counts.

It argued that by the decision, the appellate court failed to give effect to  paragraphs 11(2), 11(3) and 13 of Part 1, 5th Schedule of the Constitution that placed the burden on the defendant to prove his/her innocence.

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