By Willy Eya
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said he would not lose sleep over the decision of the Federal Government to appeal the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which upheld the plea of no case submission he made on the 18-count charge of false asset declaration preferred against him.
He expressed confidence that the verdict at the appellate court would not be different from that of the tribunal as the facts of the case remain the same and the grounds on which the decision of the CCT was based remain unassailable.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, he said that anybody who has been following the proceedings and the evidence given by the prosecution witnesses during examination in chief and cross examination would know that if presented before any court of Justice and law, the same outcome as in the CCT would be arrived at.
The Senate President said that those who are running commentary on the ruling by the tribunal and criticising it are not even familiar with the case and the details coming out of the trial. Dr. Saraki wondered how desperate some people in government and their collaborators outside have become to pull him down at all costs and by all means up to the point that they do not care if they destroy the institution of the judiciary in the process.
He said it was the same reason why stories of allegation of bribery were sponsored in an online publication against the tribunal judges. He called on the security agencies to immediately commence investigation on this bribery allegation, saying that those who made the allegation should be invited to substantiate their claims.
“Corruption is not just about giving or diverting money. When an official interferes with the judicial process with a view to achieving personal objectives, that is corruption” , he said. He asked, if as being portrayed to the public that it was a straight forward case following investigation, how come every time their case was dismantled during the process, they went back to amend charges just in desperation to get a conviction?
He further added: “If not desperation by the prosecution, why is the EFCC so involved in a case of false asset declaration which is an exclusive preserve of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)? All the evidence presented during the trial were from the EFCC. That is why the only CCB witness presented by the prosecution gave what the tribunal referred to as ‘hearsay evidence’.