👤 By Uthman Muhammed
The Supreme Court in Abuja has cleared the Senate President Bukola Saraki of all charges filed against him over false declaration of assets.
Speaking after the ruling, Senator Saraki said the case before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, which was first instituted by Ibrahim Mustafa Magu led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC should be celebrated.
“I am most grateful for the support of my Distinguished Colleagues and the Honourable Members for their unflinching support. They were unfairly criticised for accompanying me on court appearances, but they did so because they believed that injustice to one, is injustice to all.
“My immense gratitude also goes to the international community for their interest in this case. The Nigerian press have kept watch and I appreciate their vigilance in ensuring that all the facts were held up to scrutiny.
“To my supporters, yes, there is a reason to rejoice, but our celebration must be tempered with the sobering lessons of the attempted injustice from Day One of this trial.”
The decision to clear Senator Saraki of the 18 charges, comes after the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs filled an “incompetent” appeal the CCT judge Danladi Umar absolved him of corruption allegations.
Justice Umar said the former Governor of Kwara had no case to answer.
However, Mr Rotimi had appealed. A a three-man panel led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, again unanimously ruled in favour of the Senate President should return to the CCT to defend 15 out of the 18.
A five-man panel, led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad, said the Court of Appeal had done a “forensic somersault” in its own ruling.
Following the no case submission ruling made by Justice Umar, Mr Magu decided to charge the CCT chair for corruption. Despite, the judge being cleared for the same offence twice by the anti-graft agency.
Commenting on the case, a staff at the EFCC who wished to remain anonymous said: “they always knew there was no case. The anti-graft boss is only working in line with those that put him there.”
The case lasted for 1018 Days counting from September 22, 2015. The Senate President said “when the case began at the Tribunal, I am happy that I have been vindicated.
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“The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is no evidence of false declaration of assets.
“I believe in fighting corruption and I have made my own humble contributions to the fight against corruption in this country.”
He noted that “as a presidential aide, I initiated the process that led to the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”