Saraki yet to be served notice of govt’s appeal against CCT ruling – Spokesperson

Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Wednesday that he had not been formally notified of an appeal by the federal government against his acquittal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Mr. Saraki was discharged and acquitted of false asset declaration charges by the tribunal exactly a week ago.

The outcome stunned many Nigerians, with some civic groups calling on the United Nations to intervene in Nigeria’s legal system that they perceived as too lenient towards impunity.
On Tuesday, the Buhari administration announced it had appealed the June 14 verdict of the tribunal, chaired by Danladi Umar.

The appeal notice, which contained 11 charges, was signed by Rotimi Jacobs, the lead prosecuting counsel, Saliu Isa, spokesperson for the Attorney-General, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday.
Mr. Malami also confirmed on Wednesday that he authorised the appeal.

But the Senate President’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said his principal had not been served of such process.
“We’re not aware of the notice,” Mr. Olaniyonu said.

Mr. Saraki, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, was slammed with 18-count false asset declaration charges in September 2015, three months after his emergence as leader of the Senate, in defiance of an internal arrangement of his party.

The Code of Conduct Bureau, which filed the charges, relied predominantly on evidence submitted by an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Michael Wetkas.

After several adjournments, the prosecution finally concluded its case before the tribunal on May 4, 2017, and Mr. Saraki’s counsel immediately entered a no-case submission, which was subsequently upheld by Mr. Umar last week.

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