BEVERLY HILLS, February 06, (THEWILL) – The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has bemoaned his ongoing trial on alleged false asset declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
THEWILL recalls that Saraki was first accused of alleged false asset declaration in 2015 and was initially cleared of all allegations by the Tribunal in June, 2017.
However, the Court of Appeal in December 2017 ordered him to return to the tribunal and face three of the initial 18-count charge brought against him.
But in a series of tweets on Tuesday, before the resumption of his trial, Saraki accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of making a mockery of the fight against corruption.
Saraki also ‘sympathised’ with the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, who has been charged with corruption months after the EFCC cleared him of allegation of bribery.
“I sympathise with the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, for his travail in the hands of the EFCC which suddenly woke up 4 days to the resumption of this case to file criminal charges against him,” Saraki twitted.
“You will recall that in April 2016, when our lawyers asked the Tribunal Chairman to recuse himself from our case, because of the criminal investigation against him, the EFCC swiftly cleared Mr. Umar of any wrongdoing.
“Now, I find it amusing, that in a dramatic turnaround, this same EFCC now thinks that Mr. Umar has a case to answer just before the commencement of my case before him. What has changed since April 2016?
“As much as many Nigerians want to continue to believe that this my case is merely about asset declaration irregularities, the maneuvers, manipulation, intrigues, schemes, and House of Cards nature of this whole case proves otherwise.
“I really wonder whether those who genuinely love this Government appreciate the damage that all this is doing to our so-called ‘War Against Corruption.
“However, in all of this, my confidence in the judiciary and its ability to do justice in all cases, remains unshaven.”
THEWILL recalls that the EFCC had on Friday charged Umar with demanding and receiving favour from a Defendant Standing Trial before the CCT in 2012.
The EFCC, through a private lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, filed the charges against Umar before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Friday.
The prosecution in the case marked, CR/109/18, alleged that Umar had demanded N10m as favour from a defendant standing trial before the CCT, Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, in 2012.
The anti-corruption agency also accused Umar of receiving, through his personal assistant, Alhaji Gambo Abdullahi, the sum of N1.8m from Taiwo in the same year.
The offences were contrary to Section 12(1)(a) & (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.