President Muhammadu Buhari, has reacted to the resounding victory of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
Buhari, who spoke through is his Special Assistant on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, was shocked that the CCT could dismiss the weight of “overwhelming evidence” against Saraki, who was tried for false assets declaration, by the Federal Government.
Recall, that the two-man panel of the CCT, led by its Chairman, Danladi Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission filed by Saraki, after the prosecution closed its case with 48 exhibits tendered, and after the testimonies of the fourth and the last prosecution witness, on May 4, 2017.
The CCT Chairman, Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki of all the charges, among other grounds, the failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it part of the proof of evidence.
He added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, was “so unreliable that no reasonable Tribunal could convict” anyone based on it.
Also reacting, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC, Itse Sagay, expressed shock at Saraki’s acquittal.
Sagay said it was incredible Saraki got absolved, and therefore, advised the Federal Government to appeal the ruling.
“I was shocked myself by the ruling. The amount of evidence amassed against him (Mr. Saraki) was considerable; so, I am surprised it was said no prima facie case had been made against him. It’s shocking, that’s all I can say.”
“If you look at this case, the prosecution was much organised. Evidence was brought out very clearly. In fact, I would say mountains of evidence. So, nobody can blame poor prosecution in this case. So, what is the problem? A Nigerian factor? We don’t know”, said Sagay.