23.1 C
Abuja

Saraki Pleads Not Guilty At Tribunal, Case Adjourns To October 21

Advertisement

Related

Advertisement
Advertisement
Senate President Bukola Saraki in the dock today
Senate President Bukola Saraki in the dock today

Embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all 13 charges of corruption and false declaration of assets filed against him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal by the federal sovernment through the of Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

Saraki, who appeared at the CCT in company of about 50 senators, including Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweramadu, had promised on Monday to surrender himself to the tribunal after frantic and unsuccessful attempts to prevent the trial.

He is standing trial for offences committed while he was governor of Kwara state and also at the Senate. He arrived at the Tribunal around 9:30am, one hour before Tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar.

Having announced that it was banning the live transmission of the trial, argument ensued about where the Senate President would sit, with prosecution asking that he took the dock.

Defence counsel, Joseph Daudu, however, countered by quoting paragraph 18, Subsection 1 of the 5th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, arguing the case was not a criminal one and that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

But the prosecution said Section 2 of the Administration of Justice Act, 2015 allows the case to be heard by the tribunal since it was created by an act of the National assembly.

The tribunal chairman ruled that the case was criminal and asked the Senate President to enter into the dock and take his plea.

- Advertisement -

Rather than simply pleading guilty or not guilty when the charges were read, Saraki elected to first make a speech, saying: “I believe that I am here as the Senate president, to indicate my respect for the Tribunal. I am puzzled why I am being compelled.”

He argued that he should not have been asked to appear before the tribunal and then pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Saraki said the assets he acquired, which are allegedly beyond his legitimate means as a public officer, were acquired from the proceeds of selling rice.

There was mild drama, however, when the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, in driving home his argument, stated that the former governor included in his declarations a property sold to him by former FCT minister and now governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, at which point the audience in the Tribunal broke into laughter.

The Tribunal chairman adjourned the case to the October 21 and 23 for hearing.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

[molongui_author_box]

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

Advertisement

Recent

Train attack: How FG met terrorists’ demands for release of abducted passengers

SENIOR Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu has said...

NNPCLtd. signs contract extension with oil majors, targets $500bn investments

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd) has signed a contract extension with five...

Bandits kill two vigilantes in Abuja

TWO vigilante members have been reported dead following an encounter with bandits at Gasakpa...

Wike to Atiku: People around you may cost you 2023 presidential election

RIVERS State governor Nyesom Wike has advised candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)...

Aero Contractors eyes return to commercial operations

Aero Contractors is eyeing a return to commercial operations after the temporary suspension of...
Advertisement

Most Read

Advertisement

Subscribe to our newsletter

Advertisement