18 March 2016

Nigeria: Govt May Amend Charges Against Saraki At Code of Conduct Tribunal

Photo: The Guardian Nigeria
Bukola Saraki

Indications from the prosecution in the case brought against Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), showed that the charges preferred against him might be amended.

Of the 13 count charges, it was learnt that two, counts 11 and 12, which relate to operating foreign accounts as a public officer contrary to the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, may be dropped entirely following development from investigations by the security agency involved.

This, The Guardian gathered, was sequel to what sources described as "doubts" on the part of the Federal Government raised by a realisation by the authorities that instead of being accounts, the numbers quoted in the charges were that of credit cards which were not operated based on ownership of a bank account.

In particular, it was discovered that the American Express Services Europe Limited was different from the American Express Bank and that while the latter was a money deposit full-fledged commercial bank, the former was a credit/debit card services operating company.

Besides, it was noted that its services cannot be said to have violated the provision of the Paragraph 3 of Part 1, Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As amended) and Section 7 of the Code of Conduct of Bureau and Tribunal Act.

Meanwhile, sources claimed that the prosecution may have been aware of the new development after an attempt to clarify the true position of things with the American Express Card Services Limited which response indicated that the charges cannot be sustained during trial.

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