Nigerian Senate leader acquitted in graft case

2017-06-14 18:12


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - The leader of Nigeria's Senate was on Wednesday cleared of corruption charges, ending of one of the most high-profile trials in President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-graft campaign.

Lawyers for Bukola Saraki argued prosecutors had failed to establish a case alleging that he made a false declaration of his assets before and after his tenure as governor of Kwara state.

He was also accused of collecting double salaries during his time as governor of the western state from 2003 to 2011 and as a senator after he stepped down.

The case had been heard at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which tries cases of alleged abuse in public office.

Saraki challenged the competency of the tribunal to try him, hired a 66-lawyer defence team and turned up at hearings with dozens of senators and other politicians in support.

Judge Danladi Umar said in his ruling that the prosecution "failed to link the defendant with the commission of the offences as charged".

"All the responses of the prosecution witnesses and evidence in this trial have been discredited as a result of cross-examination and have become unreliable," he added.

"In the light of the foregoing, the tribunal has nothing to do other than to discharge and acquit the defendant."

Under Nigerian law, senior politicians including state governors are required to declare their assets when they enter office.

Saraki was charged and brought to the tribunal in February 2016, just over six months after he became leader of Nigeria's upper chamber of parliament.

He was not the preferred candidate for Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which led to claims the charges against him were politically motivated.

Saraki, who is Nigeria's third-most powerful politician behind Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, was last year acquitted in a separate case of conspiracy and forgery.

It was alleged the 54-year-old former banker and his deputy falsified parliamentary rules to get elected.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.