Don’t Be Deterred By The Appeal Court Judgement; Group Tells Saraki
The Integrity Youth Alliance has called on the President of the Senate, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki not to be deterred by the Appeal Court Judgement.
In a press release by the National Coordinator of the Integrity Youth Alliance, Kelvin Adegbenga on Tuesday in Abuja, he said since the appeal court dismissed 15 out 18 charges, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki will surely have victory over the remaining three to be retried by the same Code of Conduct Tribunal that has earlier dismissed all the charges and acquit Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“We know as 2019 election approaches, the Federal Government has been finding the rising political profile of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki disturbing hence appealing the case he has been acquitted on a clean and clear Judgement, Adegbenga said.
It will be recalled that the court held that the information supplied in the report used to prepare the charge by the federal government against Saraki did not link Saraki directly with the charges as required by law.
The appellate court held that the federal government erroneously came to the conclusion that the onus to prove the 15 charges was on Saraki whereas it is an established fact that the party that alleges must be the one to prove beyond reasonable doubt.
The court faulted the Federal Government on the claim that Saraki collected salaries and emoluments from Kwara State government after he had left office as the executive governor of the state adding that it was a big surprise that no single witness was invited from Kwara State to prove the allegation.
The court also took swipe at the prosecution on the allegation that Saraki operated foreign account while he was in office as a State Governor but called no witness to establish the allegation in line with Section 37 of the Evidence Act.
In the 15 count charges that were dismissed, the court held that they were substantially based on hearsay that does not drive value from merit adding that in a criminal trial, evidence base on hearsay is inadmissible in law.
“We are happy that the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki has indicated his readiness to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the validity of the three count upheld by the court of appeal against him, the statement concluded.