I’ve been vindicated with appeal court verdict - Senate President
Saraki said his lawyers would review the judgement once the certified true copies are ready to know the next line of action.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his spokesman, Saraki said the squashing of 15 out of the 18 charges showed that he had been vindicated.
“We believe that upholding the no-case submission by Dr. Saraki with regards to 15 of the 18 counts charges vindicates the innocence of the Senate President. At least, today’s judgment has confirmed the position of the tribunal that the prosecution’s case was entirely based on hearsay, not on any concrete evidence,” the statement read.
Continuing, it said: “The verdict of the Court of Appeal, just like that of the tribunal before it, aligned with our position that the preposterous claims made during trial by the prosecution concerning operation of foreign accounts, making anticipatory declarations, collecting double salaries, owning assets beyond his income and failure to declare assets owned by companies in which the Senate President owns interests, among others, have fallen like a pack of cards and lack any basis.”
In a 70-page unanimous judgment, Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, held that there was no evidence to substantiate 15 out of the 18 counts as valid charges.
She, however, said the prosecution was able to establish a strong case against Saraki on counts 4,5 and 6 bothering on the purchase of house 17 A and B at McDonald Street, Ikoyi Lagos.
The judge asked Saraki to return to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for a continuation of his trial, which the tribunal dismissed in June.
Response to verdict on return to Code of Conduct Tribunal
On the three count charges, Saraki said his lawyers would review the judgement once the certified true copies are ready.
“On the remaining three counts, which really touch on two issues, referred back to the tribunal for the Senate President’s defence, it should be noted that the appellate court only gave a summary of its decision today, promising to provide the parties with Certified True Copies of the judgment soon,” he said.
“As soon as it makes the details of the judgement available, our lawyers will review the grounds of the decision and take appropriate action.
“We remain convinced about the innocence of the senate president on the three or two counts because we believe the decision of the Court of Appeal is not consistent with the submissions made by both parties at the tribunal. Thus, it is our view that that aspect of the judgment will not stand.
“The confidence and faith of Dr. Saraki in the nation’s judiciary and its ability to dispense justice to all manners of people remains unshaken.”
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.
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