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Appeal Court Orders Saraki back to CCT to Stand Corruption Trial

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Appeal Court Orders Saraki back to CCT to Stand Corruption Trial |

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has asked Senate PresidentBukola Saraki, to return to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to face trial on three counts of corruption over failure to disclose his assets.

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The three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson unanimously ordered the Senate President back to the tribunal where he had previously won in June.

The panel ruled that the prosecution was able to establish a prima facie case against Saraki in three of the 18 charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2015.

When he resumes the trial at the CCT, the Senate President will enter defence for counts 4, 5 and 6 in relation to his alleged failure to declare some houses he acquired in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Saraki's previous trial

Saraki had been charged by the EFCC  in 2015 for false assets declaration when he was Kwara state governor.

The Senate President was cleared of all charges by the Justice Danladi Umar-led tribunal citing the prosecution's failure to prove the allegations.

FG's appeal

The Federal Government filed the 11 grounds notice of appeal after the tribunal dismissed the government's case against the former governor on June 14.

The notice of appeal considered the acquittal as an overruling of previous decisions by the Court of Appeal in respect to the Senate President's trial, calling it, "unwarranted, unreasonable and against the weight of evidence".

The notice was signed by lead prosecuting counsel Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), and an Assistant Chief State Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Pius Akutah who said the tribunal's decision was wrong in its consideration of the case.

In his response to the appeal on June 23, Saraki had expressed confidence that the verdict at the appellate court would not be different from that of the tribunal as "the grounds on which the decision of the CCT was based remain unassailable."


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