Senate President Bukola Saraki

By Oladapo Okeowo

The Nigerian government is set to begin the appeal process against the acquittal granted Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

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This is expected to occur sometime during the week.

According to the Sunday Punch, the federal government would be submitting records of the 21-month trial to the Federal Court of Appeal, Abuja. This, the transmission, is to fulfil a legal requirement for the validation of an appellant’s notice of appeal.

The records which number over 3,000 pages are a description of proceedings that led to the acquittal of Saraki of the charges of false asset declaration brought against him by the federal government.

This comes after both parties involved in the case agreed on what records to be sent to the Court of Appeal during a records settlement exercise. A meeting confirmed by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the CCT,  Ibraheem Al-Hassan.

However, this agreement does not stop either party from bringing up additional documents alongside those agreed upon.

The documents agreed upon by parties for transmission are said to include the application to prefer charge; the first (original) charge; the amended charge; and the further amended charge.

The records would also contain Saraki’s March 4, 2016 motion for the dismissal of the case on, among other grounds, that he was not invited to make a statement before he was charged.

The prosecution’s counter-affidavit to the said motion; the prosecution’s further counter-affidavit to the said motion; the defendant’s further affidavit to the motion and a copy of the CCT’s dismissing the motion are expected to be included too.

Speaking to the Punch, Al-Hassan said, “The parties involved in the case met last week to settle the records of appeal. I cannot confirm the documents that were agreed on.

“I also do not know the volume because I did not participate in the exercise of the settlement but the two parties have agreed on a date for the transmission of the records.”

Saraki, who was charged before the Tribunal in September 2015, was on June 14, 2017 discharged and acquitted by the Danladi Umar-led CCT.