By Danjuma Aliyu
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has rejected an appeal challenging the Senate President over false declaration of assets.
Senator Bukola Saraki was accused by Ibrahim Mustafa Magu’s led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of failing to properly declare his assets.
The lawmaker faced an 18-count charge over alleged false asset declaration, but, on June 14, 2017, the chairman of the Court of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Yakubu Umar said he had no “case to answer.”
The Federal Government appealed the judgement and a three-man panel led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson unanimously ruled that the Senate President should return to the CCT to defend three counts out of the 18.
Invariably, Justice Wilson, who read a 70-page unanimous judgment dismissed 15 out of the 18 counts against Senator Saraki.
DENISAURUS News understands that a legal professor, Itse Sagay advised that the Federal Government should appeal the judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal judge, to which Rotimi Jacobs, SAN – a lawyer privately engaged by Mr Magu, did.
Today, Mr Jacob, SAN was lambasted by the Judge for filing an “incompetent application.”
Justice Tanko Mohammed said: “The court is disappointed that a high profile lawyer could file such as incompetent application knowing what the extant rules of the court are.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier development, DENISAURUS News gathered that Mr Magu has sent a reply to a query he received from the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice over the “blackmailing” charges he filed against Justice Umar.
Abubakar Malami, SAN questioned Mr Magu, a “perennial offender” over his decision to bring charges of corruption against Justice Umar, having cleared him in 2016.
The tribunal judge was accused of demanding 10 million Naira from one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo in 2012.
He is also accused of receiving the the sum of N1.8m through his personal assistant Gambo Abdullahi.
But, this newspaper discovered that even with an alleged confessional statement from Justice Umar’s PA, Mr Magu, directed Emmanuel Aremu Adegboyega, a top management staff of the EFCC to write a letter which absolved the CCT chairman of any wrong doing.
In the letter dated April 20, 2016, the EFCC stated that the allegations against the Judge were “mere suspicions.”
The letter sequel to EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 signed by Ibrahim Lamorde on the March 5, was sent to the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Alhaji Abdullahi, later went on to recant his first statement, where he confessed to receiving the N1.8 million on behalf of his boss. He stated in a ‘trial within a trial’ that he was coerced by investigators into making the statement against Justice Umar.
The veracity of Alhaji Abdullahi’s new evidence was in doubt and questioned in the Court. Yet, Mr Magu’s letter EFCC/P/HRU/688/V.30/99, went ahead to absolve Justice Umar of the bribery allegation.
Sources at the Commission, believe Mr Magu is bent on nailing the Senate President.
The Borno Deputy Commissioner of Police failed to secure his nomination as substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency after an indicting report from the secret police described him as a “liability to the fight against corruption.”
The “corrupt” officer who performed woefully during his screening has been unable to defend himself from the allegations from the Department of State Security Service.
But, he blames the Senate President for his rejection. He was hoping that Justice Umar would indict the former Governor who now represents Kwara Central Senatorial District.