The Nigerian Presidency on Wednesday said the acquittal of Senate President Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was a “travesty of justice.”
Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, said Saraki’s discharge by the CCT over false asset declaration charges in spite of “incontrovertible evidence” was outrageous.
“It is a travesty of justice. It is pedestrian and it is outrageous. It is against the weight”, he said.
“There was overwhelming evidence, cogent evidence, incontrovertible evidence, which cannot be dismissed by a no-case submission. The trial judge ought to have called on the defendant to enter his defence against the evidence adduced by the prosecution.
“The prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), is one the best in the country and he conducted that case professionally, conscientiously and diligently.
“So we are amazed, we are surprised.”
He dismissed suggestion in some quarters that the judgment was negotiated between the presidency and the Senate.
“It is balderdash; it is hogwash”,he said.
“We know that President Muhammadu Buhari is a paragon of integrity. The Attorney General of the Federation is also a paragon of integrity that will never compromise cases.”
“And we will go on with this fight against corruption despite the frustration, despite the setback.
“We will go back to the drawing board, re-strategise because Nigeria must be saved.
“Our head is bruised but it is unbowed.”
The CCT on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration.
Saraki has described his trial at the CCT as torturous.
Saraki, in a statement he signed, said his victory at the tribunal had given hope to the common man that Nigeria’s judiciary could dispense justice.
The statement read in part, “After undergoing the crucible of a tortuous trial, my vindication today calls for celebration. It is my belief however that if there
should be any celebration at all, it should be a celebration of the hopes that this judgment gives us as citizens, that despite all the challenges that we face as a country, we are well on our way to building a country where the innocent needs not be afraid.
“On a personal note, I habour no grudge against anyone, regardless of the role they might have played in the persecution that I had endured in the last two years.”