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FG to Appeal Saraki’s Acquittal

The acquittal of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal last week will have negative implication for Nigeria’s fight against corruption as well as jurisprudence on false asset declaration, the presidency said on Sunday.

Therefore, the federal government will appeal the ruling, according to the presidential adviser on prosecution, said Okoi Obono-Obla, who spoke with our correspondent on Monday.

“Federal government will definitely appeal because we will not want that to be Nigeria’s jurisprudence on assets declaration, and so that a bad precedent will not be set,” said Mr. Obono-Obla. “If we allow that judgement to stand, it is bye bye to the war against corruption.”

The CCT had last week Wednesday cleared Saraki of false asset declaration, charges brought against him by the federal government.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, ruled that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against Mr. Saraki, thereby upholding a no-case submission made by the defendant’s counsel, Kanu Agabi.

That ruling was “outrageous”, Mr. Obono-Obla said, arguing that it was not based on the weight of evidence adduced by the prosecution.

He added that the “no-case submission” upheld by the tribunal was “anachronistic”.

“We are studying the judgment; we should get the certified true copy by Monday or Tuesday. Then, we will file notice of appeal on Wednesday,” he said.

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