Saraki’s Victory at the Court of Appeal.
In what can aptly be described as a Landmark Judgment, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, today, 12 December 2017 upheld in very substantial parts, the victory of the Senate President, Dr Olubukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and dismissed 15 Counts out of the 18 Count-Charge preferred against him. In summarizing the judgment, the Court of Appeal found that, the Prosecution labouring fatally under the misconception of the law, that the burden of proof of the offences alleged rested on the Defendant abysmally failed to prove the essential elements of the offences charged in Counts 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
It would be recalled that Mr Paul Usoro SAN was a pivotal member of the Legal Team led by Mr Kanu Agabi, SAN that represented the Senate President right from the Code of Conduct Tribunal up to the present proceedings at the Court of Appeal. Recall also that it was Mr Usoro SAN’s much-publicized, strategic, incisive and decisive cross examination of the Prosecution’s Witnesses in respect of the specific counts charged at the Lower Tribunal, that sounded the death knell for the case of the Prosecution and completely reversed the narrative surrounding the publicly debated trial from one which appeared grim at the inception for the Senate President to a case with a whole lot of positives at the end of the case of the Prosecution. The Legal Team’s success in shredding the case of the Prosecution resulted in the dismissal of the case by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the ground that no prima facie case was established against the Senate President. That success in and of itself indeed represents a milestone victory and one of the few instances where a “No Case Submission” has been upheld in a matter of such a controversial nature.
With the Appeal Court’s decision today dismissing 15 Counts, the success recorded at the Tribunal has been significantly affirmed leaving out only 3 Counts of the 18-Count Charge. Indeed, Mr Usoro and the entire Team stand tall today and can revel in their victory in securing a score of 15/18 which by any and every standard is a distinction whichever way you choose to look at it. The Legal Team strongly believes that there are veritable grounds to affirm the entirety of the Tribunal’s decision and is currently reviewing the Judgment and having discussions with Dr Saraki on the next possible steps to take.