The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the appeal of Senate President of Nigeria, Senator Bukola Saraki, and discharged him of the remaining three charges brought against him in the case of false declaration of assets by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The court also said that senator Bukola Saraki has no case to answer on all the 18 count charges brought against him by the EFCC.
Recall that Senator Saraki had filed an appeal at the apex court to challenge the ruling of the Court of Appeal which asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to try Saraki on three of the 18 counts brought against him by the EFCC after the same court dismissed 15 count charges out of the 18 against Saraki but ordered that the Senate President must be tried on the other 3 count charges.
Today, the Supreme Court finally laid to rest the controversial judgment of the appeal court.
Justice Nweze of the Supreme Court who delivered the lead judgment gave the reasons as follows:
According to the court:
“The Court of Appeal made a caricature of its judgment when it found as a fact that the entire evidence presented by the prosecution was hearsay and manifestly unreliable and still went ahead to agree that prima facie case was established against the Senate President in three out of the 18 charges.”
“The Court of Appeal amounted to forensic summersault and capable of making ill of jurisprudence.”
“This court will not lend its jurisdiction to such a charade and caricature of justice. It carries grave error in holding that a prima facie case has been established against the appellant,”
“The prosecution is duty bound by law to call all key witnesses to be able to establish prima facie case against anybody,”
The court dismissed the entire 18 charges brought against Saraki by the Federal Government and consequently discharged and acquitted the Senate President accordingly.
The Supreme Court was of the same view with the code of conduct tribunal who had earlier dismissed all the charges brought against Saraki before the case later got to the appeal court and thereafter to the Supreme Court.
While the appeal court agreed in part with the lower court in its ruling on January 14, 2018, it held that Saraki had a case to answer in counts 4, 5, and 6, which had to do with his purchase of properties in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.