Dr Bukola Saraki, Senate President

By Ogbolu George with agency report

The trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has stalled at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) due to the fresh filing of an 18-count amended charge by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

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Saraki who has been on trial since September 2015 for alleged false and anticipatory asset declaration, already has had charges against him changed from the original 13-count charge to a 16-count charge in 2016.

Counsel to the defendant said the new charges had altered the direction of the trial and his client required more time to study and respond adequately to the new charges.

The prosecution team, headed by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), objected to this, saying that the fresh charges were as a result of testimonies given by witnesses and it does not in any way alter the direction of the case.

“I was the one who notified the defendant’s team about my decision to file an amended charge this morning.

“I did also serve them with certified copies of the new charge. I am surprised they have chosen to use it against me. I pray the court to discountenance their motion for an adjournment as no new matter was introduced into the charge,’” he said.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Umar Danladi, after hearing both sides adjourned the trial until February 13 to give the defendant and his team time to study the new charges and prepare his plea.