FG to re-arraign Saraki on amended charges
Senate President Bukola Saraki

The Code of Conduct Tribunal yesterday fixed February 23 for the re-arraignment of Senate President Bukola Saraki after the Federal Government amended its 18-count charge.

The prosecution, in the earlier 16-count charge, alleged that Saraki made false/anticipatory declaration of assets, operated foreign accounts while in office as Kwara State governor between 2003 and 2011. He was also alleged to have collected governorship salary four years after his tenure had elapsed.

At the resumed hearing Wednesday, led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the third prosecution witness, Samuel Madujemu (a Chief Admin Officer at the Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB) narrated how the Federal Government uncovered discrepancies in assets the defendant declared to the CCB.

He told the tribunal that a joint investigative team involving the CCB, Federal Ministry of Justice and the EFCC discovered that Saraki falsely declared his assets.

However, while still giving evidence, lead defense counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) drew the attention of the tribunal to the amended charge against his client. The tribunal thereafter stood down the proceedings for one hour but upon resumption, Agabi asked for an adjournment to enable the defense team to properly study the amended charge.

Responding, Jacobs said he did not raise the issue earlier so as not to disrupt proceeding of the day. “Amendment can be done anytime even after their own defence, before judgment is delivered. Moreover we are not bringing anything new. The new charge is just the old wine in a new bottle”, he said.


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