Nigerian court orders senate head to stand trial

Nigeria Senate chief to face corruption charges

Stop blaming Nigerian governments for unemployment – Saraki

The Abuja Court of Appeal has reportedly ordered Senate President Bukola Saraki to face trial on 3 charges, Punch reports.

The tribunal had earlier dismissed all 18-count allegations against Saraki and acquitted him of the charges.

The federal government had on September 11, 2015 filed 13 count charges bordering on false assets declaration against Saraki and later amended the charges and increased the counts to 18.

Saraki however said he will appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court.

Paul Usoro, representing the Senate President, said he would sit with his client on judgment, with a view to appealing the judgment.

While the case was ongoing, some Nigerians had maintained that the Senate President's travails at the CCT was not unconnected with his emergence as the Senate President against his APC party design.

In count four charge, Saraki was accused of making false assets declaration at the end of his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on assumption of office as a senator in 2011 in respect of a property at 17A McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos.

The appeallate court specifically held that the prosecution was able to establish that there was false declaration in the assets declaration form as for how the houses were acquired.

"And it is hereby ordered that counts 4,5 and 6 be remitted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal", the court held.

Aside allegation that he falsely declared his assets, as well as, made anticipatory declaration of assets, Saraki, was also alleged to have operated foreign bank accounts while in office as a public officer. His ground was that the prosecution failed to prove its case.

"In conclusion, we find no merit in 15 out of 18 count charges brought against the defendant by the complainant and we hereby uphold the decision of the tribunal delivered in June this year on the finding".

The full details of the judgement on the final three charges against Saraki have not been released and will be addressed by his lawyers once they have been, the Senate president said in a statement.

But in a reaction, Senate President Bukola Saraki maintained his innocence stating that the judgment of the Court of Appeal will not stand.

"At least, today's judgment has confirmed the position of the Tribunal that the prosecution's case was entirely based on hearsay, not on any concrete evidence".

The Senate President said this at a one-day "Special Public Hearing on Youth Job Creation and Entrepreneurship" held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on Monday.

"The confidence and faith of Dr. Saraki in the nation's judiciary and its ability to dispense justice to all manners of people remains unshaken".

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