Group Hails Appeal Court Verdict To Renew Saraki’s Trial

Kwara Must Change has expressed satisfaction at the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which
ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki back to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to enter his defense on 3 criminal charges and account for his false asset declaration.

In a statement from the group made available to our correspondent in Kwara, it stated “The people of Kwara are convinced that the undeclared assets were probably bought with looted funds from Kwara State treasury and we look forward to diligent prosecution of those 3 charges and the safe return of the properties to its rightful owners.”

You will recall that when Justice Danladi Umar led CCT upheld the no case submission of Mr Saraki and dismissed the 18 count charges months ago, Kwara Must Change was one of the groups that appealed to the Federal Government to appeal the judgement in the interest of justice, which was greeted by a wild jubilation among Kwarans.

 

The group which said it has been vindicated alleged that after the notice of appeal was filed, Mr Saraki claimed at the time that the appeal is futile effort against him since he believed he has successfully bought his way out. However, with the judgement of the Appeal Court which ordered the defendant back to the CCT to enter his defense on 3 criminal charges bordering on false asset declaration.

 

The court of appeal recently held that the prosecutions have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr. Saraki made false asset declaration, which the group advised that he must account for, adding “although, we are concerned that the Court of Appeal did not find merit in the account statement of the defendant, which clearly showed that he continued to receive salaries as governor for more than 4 years after leaving office. To dismiss this weighty allegation simply because the Kwara State government failed to stand as witness is to us very unfortunate.”

“We make bold to say that, those following the trend of events in Kwara State are not in doubt that whatever atrocity the Senate President is alleged to have committed were done with active support of the Kwara State government, which made them accomplice to the crime. To now
dismiss those weighty charges despite evidences, simply because an accomplice refused to stand as witness is to say the least, unfortunate. But we strongly believe that no sinner will go
unpunished.”

“In addition, it is widely circulated all across Kwara that the state government dipped its dirty hands into the state treasury to bank roll the legal fee of Mr. Saraki, including the hiring of 90 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) during the CCT first trial. We therefore warn the state governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed to desist from using task payer’s money to fund criminal defense of Mr. Saraki because such amount to betrayer of peoples trust and an abuse of privilege.”

“Let it be known that Kwarans are not giving up hope on justice. Even though we know there are bad eggs in the judiciary who give judgement in return for cash as recently proven by relevant agencies including National Bureau of Statistics, we still believe there are men of
integrity in the judiciary who will uphold justice at all cost. We are therefore hopeful that irrespective of the attempted manipulation of the judiciary to subvert justice in favor of the accused, justice shall eventually prevail.”

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