CCT arraigns Saraki Friday on False Assets declaration

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki, will be arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal Friday on a 13- count charge for alleged false declaration of assets by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is also said to have concluded plans to arraign his wife, Toyin, over alleged complicity in shady contract deals during the husband’s tenure as governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.`

A source at the EFCC said her arraignment is delayed by the recess at the judiciary.

In the charge sheet before the CCT, marked ABT/01/15 and dated September 11, 2015,Saraki was accused of deliberately manipulating the assets declaration form that he filed prior to his assumption of office as the Senate President, by making anticipatory declaration of assets.

The offence, which attracts imprisonment, was said to have been

committed while Saraki held sway as Kwara governor.

 

Saraki, in the charge sheet signed by a deputy director in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. M.S. Hassan, was also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor.

 

The senate president will be expected to defend before the CCT, his acquisition of some assets believed to exceed his legitimate earnings.

Other charges are allegation that he owned and operated foreign bank accounts while serving as a public officer and seen as a gross violation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

More so, Saraki, in the charge sheet, which was transferred to the

tribunal by the CCB on Tuesday, was accused of breaching Section 2 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, an offence punishable under Section 23(2) of the Act and paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The CCB alleged that Saraki claimed that he owned and acquired No 15A and 15B McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, through his company, Carlisle Properties Limited in 2000, when the said property was actually sold by the Implementation Committee of the Federal Government landed properties in 2006 to his companies, Tiny Tee Limited and Vitti Oil Limited for the aggregate sum of N396, 150, 000. 00.

 

He was alleged to have made false declaration on or about June 3, 2011, by refusing to declare plot 2A Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which he acquired between 2007 and 2008 through his company from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a total sum of N325, 000, 000. 00.

Similarly, Saraki was said to have refused to declare No1, Tagnus

Street, Maitama, Abuja, which he claimed to have acquired in November 1996 from one David Baba Akawu.

Some of his alleged offences while in office as governor, which are said to be punishable under Section 15(1) and (2) of the CCB and Tribunal Act, Cap C15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, were allegedly committed between October 2006 and May 2007.

 

However, in his reaction, Saraki described the CCB’s 13-count charge of corruption as mischievous and political witch- hunt.

According to Saraki, the allegations are not only false but also

frivolous. He vowed not to be shaken by what he termed as moves by his political enemies to distract him from carrying out his duties as a senator and Senate President for which he was elected.

Speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja after a courtesy call on him by the management of the Public Complaints Commission, Senate President Saraki wondered why the Bureau would suddenly wake up with such allegations about 13 years after he declared his assets and said he would defend the charges.

 

Asked if he perceived a witch-hunt, Saraki said: “There is no doubt about that. It is mischievous, it is not correct and the issues therein are not true. As far as we are concerned, we are not shaken. We will focus on what we have come to the Senate to do. I was elected by the people. I was elected by my colleagues to work for what is good and in the interest of this country and that is what I will do.

“For the Code of Conduct Tribunal to wait for 13 years before working on a declaration that was made since 2003 is ridiculous. I have always done my declaration and we will defend those allegations but we will continue to do our work here”.

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