Update: Saraki declared assets, CCB affirms

The trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki continued this week at the
Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)
admitting that Saraki did declare his assets and those of his family
members.

The third prosecution witness and a staff of CCB, Mr. Samuel Madojemu,
also admitted before the tribunal during cross-examination that Saraki
equally declared the assets of his wife, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, both in
Nigeria and abroad, as well as those of his children whose names were
not read out.

At the resumed trial of the defendant on alleged false declaration of
assets, the witness admitted that Saraki’s assets were recorded in the
Assets Forms he submitted to CCB at various times.

Led in the cross-examination by Saraki’s counsel, Paul Erekoro (SAN),
Madojemu was meant to read out the list of assets declared by Saraki
in his name, those of his wife and his children, when he held office
as Kwara State governor and upon his assumption of office as a
senator.

The witness told the tribunal that the investigation, which led to the
arraignment of Saraki in 2015, was actually carried out by the
operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He noted that his role and those of CCB were limited to the review of
EFCC report and compared same with the defendant’s Assets Declaration
Form.

He added that he was invited orally into a team that reviewed the EFCC
report and compared the asset form of Saraki, and that CCB has no
written report on the outcome of the revision of the EFCC report.

Answering further questions, he maintained that former Lagos State
Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu who was equally investigated on assets
declaration enjoyed the privileged of being invited by CCB to clarify
l discrepancies in his asset forms submitted to the Bureau.

When asked why same gesture was not extended to Saraki when his asset
forms were been investigated, he stated that CCB cannot be blamed for
not inviting Saraki because it saw the need to limit its investigation
to the asset forms endorsed by Saraki on oath.

On the alleged double salary received by Saraki after he had left
office as Kwara State governor and when he was in the Senate, the
witness pointed out that CCB did not consult with the Kwara State
government to confirm the claim but only based its acceptance of the
claim on the report of the EFCC and a bank account of Saraki with the
Access Bank.

He said that he would not know whether it was pension that was being
paid to Saraki by Kwara State government, as he had no access to the
Kwara State law on pension scheme for ex-political office holders.

But when asked to point out in the Access Bank statement of account
where double salaries were allegedly paid to Saraki, the witness
replied: “I just cited a statement of account of the defendant. I did
not study it. So, I will not be in position so say more on the salary
issue.”

Madojemu also told the tribunal that there was no provision in the CCB
Asset Declaration Form for any declarant to declare properties owned
by the declarant’s companies and that there was no provision for cash
lodgment in the asset forms.

On his earlier evidence that Saraki did not declare his property in
London in respect of any mortgage, the witness said: “I did not
consult with Fortis Bank of London to know whether the six-bedroom
bungalow at South West London was redeemed with the bank loan.

He however admitted that the six-bedroom bungalow was declared by the
defendant in 2011 and that Saraki also claimed in his asset form that
he acquired a property from proceeds from sales of rice, sugar
commodities and bank loan.

At the end of the cross- examination, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi
Jacobs applied for an adjournment to enable him re-examine the
witness.

The counsel told the tribunal that he needed the adjournment because
the witness was cross-examined for four days by the defence.

The tribunal has however adjourned trial till April 5 for
re-examination of the witness by the prosecution. ELANZANEWS.M

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