The Supreme Court has set free the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, over allegations of failure to disclose his assets.
The judgment was delivered in the early hours of Friday.
Saraki had approached the court over the decision of the Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to try him again before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which had earlier set him free.
The CCT, headed by Danladi Umar, had last year terminated the trial upon an application by Saraki, by dismissing the entire 18 counts charge.
The CCT’s decision was based on the grounds that the prosecution, with its four witnesses and 49 exhibits tendered only led hearsay evidence which could not be the basis to link Saraki to the 18 counts preferred against him.
However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on December 12, 2017 in an appeal filed by the Federal Government against the decision of the CCT, restored three out of the dismissed 18 counts and ordered Saraki to return to the CCT to defend the three charges.
While Saraki had appealed to the Supreme Court against the part of the Court of Appeal’s decision restoring three of the 18 counts, the Federal Government had cross-appealed against the part of the decision affirming the tribunal’s dismissal of the rest of the 15 counts.
In the lead judgment on Friday, Justice Centus Nweze upheld Saraki’s appeal and dismissed the Federal Government’s appeal.
Nweze agreed with the CCT that the evidence led by the prosecution at the tribunal was entirely hearsay.
He held that the Court of Appeal was wrong to have restored three out the 18 counts earlier dismissed by the CCT when it agreed that the evidence led by the prosecution was hearsay but went ahead to isolate three of the counts as having been proved.
He quoted a part of the Court of Appeal’s judgment where it held that “the prosecution failed to call those who have direct knowledge of the facts sought to be proved, to testify”.
Faulting the Court of Appeal’s turn around to restore three of the counts based on the evidence it had declared as hearsay, Nweze said was “equivalent to judicial equivalent of a forensic somersault”.
BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured
Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.
The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.
Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.
However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.
“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”
She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.
However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.
He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.
He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”
BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi
A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.
Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.
He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.
Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.
The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.
Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.
He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.
The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.
He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.
The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.
BREAKING: Court Takes A Second Look At Sowore’s Bail Condition, Waives N50m Security Deposit
A Federal High Court in Abuja has agreed to the request by the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare for the variation of the conditions attached to the bail earlier granted them.
The court had on October 4 this year granted them bail on certain conditions, which they considered stringent and which they could not meet, prompting them to apply to the court for variation.
In a ruling on Monday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu waived the earlier requirement that one of Sowore’s deposits N50million as security and reduced the amount attached to Bakare’s bail from N50m to N30m.
Justice Ojukwu said all other conditions should remain. She said the decision to restrain the defendants from participating in rallies was in order in view of the nature of the case.
She adjourned till November 6 for the commencement of trial in the case, in which Sowore and Bakare are charged with among others, a treasonable felony.
The judge in a ruling on October 4, 2019, granted Sowore bail at N100million and two sureties in the same amount and barred him from travelling out of Abuja.
Justice Ojukwu ordered one of Sowore’s surety to deposit N50m in the account of the court as security.
She granted Bakare bail at N50m with a surety in the same amount and barred him from traveling out of his base in Osogbo, except while coming for the trial in Abuja.
The judge added that the sureties, who must be resident in Abuja, must also have landed assets worth the bail sum in Abuja, and should deposit the original title documents of the assets with the court.
Justice Ojukwu ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) pending when they are able to meet the bail conditions.
BIG STORY2 days ago
Panic Grips Residents As Lion Escapes From Kano Zoo
ENTERTAINMENT18 hours ago
Nollywood Actor Rotimi Salami Keeps Winning
ENTERTAINMENT8 hours ago
14 Facts To Know Before Naira Marley Reappears In Court Tuesday
BIG STORY22 hours ago
ASUU Begins Members Mobilization For Showdown With FG
BIG STORY18 hours ago
Automobile Dealers Association Threatens To Sue Nigerian Custom Service For Sealing Their Business Premises
BIG STORY11 hours ago
BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi