Former Governor of Kwara state; Bukola Saraki is said to have been acquitted in all the charges declared against him and Nigerians are disappointed and angry at the so called final verdict to the case.
Many of them took to their social media to vent their anger and frustration. With the rate at which corruption has infected the nation and many doing their possible best to fight it, Nigerians have concluded that Saraki’s freedom automatically shows that the Nation has a long way to go in doing the right thing and putting the enemies of the state behind bars.
The former president of the senate of Nigeria was said to have been accused of 18 charges of non-declaration of assets by the Federal Government. Some of the charges being:
- Obtaining N375m loan from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 2010, converting it to £1,515,194.53 and transferring the sum to the United Kingdom for full and final mortgage payment for a London property.
2. Receiving salary and emoluments as governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, from the Federal Government as a Senator between June 2011 and October 2013.
3. Failing to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as Governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest in the property at 42 Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.
4. Operating bank accounts outside Nigeria while being a public officer;ex-governor and failing to declare the foreign accounts to the CCB while being governor and a senator during the period.
5. Falsely declared properties; included 17, 17A and 17B McDonald, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plot 2A Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 37A Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which he allegedly bought through Carlisle Properties; No. 1 and 3 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja, otherwise known as 2482, Cadastral Zone A06, Abuja.
Even the Presidency described the acquittal of Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal as outrageous and a travesty of justice
The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, wondered why the CCT dismissed the weight of “overwhelming evidence” against Saraki.
The Transparency International (Nigeria) and a chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, Mr. Ayo Opadokun and others also described the judgment as sad and a calculated attempt to frustrate the war against corruption in the country.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal had ruled that the Senate president,;Dr. Bukola Saraki has no case to answer in the 18 charges of non-declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government.
The chairman, Umar, added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), was “so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could convict” anyone based on it.
He also noted that the evidence of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, an operative of the EFCC, was unreliable.
Concerning the evidence of the second prosecution witness, Mr. Amazi Nwachuckwu, Head of Funds Transfer Unit of the Guaranty Trust Bank, Umar noted that the witness had testified that documents relating to alleged foreign transfers by Saraki had been consumed in a fire incident, adding that there was nothing to prove the charges that were based on the documents.
Lawyers and Saraki’s supporters in court had burst into wild jubilation as soon as the tribunal made the pronouncement exonerating the Senate President