– The federal government proposes eight witnesses who will testify against the Senate President
– The trial of the Senate President is expected to commence next week
– Saraki’s case at the tribunal borders on false declaration of assets
Following the supreme court’s ruling that dismissed the appeal of Bukola Saraki, the Senate president to stop his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the federal government has reportedly proposed eight witnesses who will testify against him when his trial on 13 counts of false assets declaration starts.
Last year is was reported that the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, was part of the proposed prosecution witnesses, a court document obtained by The Punch on Friday, February 5, showed that the governor is not listed to testify.
The list shows eight proposed witnesses who were said to have been involved in the investigation of the four forms in which Saraki had allegedly made false declaration of his assets between 2003 and 2011 during his two terms as governor, The Punch reports.
Saraki’s trial is expected to commence any moment from next week following Friday’s judgement of the Supreme Court affirming the validity of the charges preferred against him and the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him.
Danladi Umar-led tribunal is expected to issue a hearing notice to parties to enable the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to open its case by calling its proposed witnesses following the court’s judgement.
Those listed by the prosecution to testify against him include: Yahaya Bello, Michael Wetkas, Mustapha Abubakar Musa, Nura Ali Bako, Adamu Garba, Samuel Madojemu, Abdulrahaman Bayo Dauda and Nwachukwu Amazu.
Some of the witnesses were said to be detectives who investigated the four forms submitted to the bureau by Saraki as a two-term governor.
The proceedings of the tribunal had been stalled by an earlier ruling of the Supreme Court staying the proceedings of the tribunal pending the hearing and determination of his appeal.
The five-man panel of the Supreme Court whose order had put Saraki’s trial on hold was headed by now retired Justice John Fabiyi.
But Friday’s judgement of a fresh seven-man bench led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, effectively terminated the order of stay of proceedings earlier granted by the apex court.
In the 13 counts instituted against Saraki, he was alleged to have “corruptly acquired many properties while in office as Governor of Kwara State, but failed to declare some of them in the said forms earlier filled and submitted.”
The supreme court on Friday, February 5 dismissed the appeal of the Senate president to stop his case at CCT.
Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen who read the judgement said that the CCT was properly constituted to exercise jurisdiction over the trial of Saraki.
Saraki in reaction to the courts ruling, said that he believes he will have his day in court to prove his innocence.