Here’s what you need to know about the charges added unto Bukola Saraki
Two new counts have been added to the 13 originally levelled against the Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki. The two latest charges include an allegation that Saraki, even after his tenure as the governor of Kwara State in 2011, continued to receive salaries and other benefits from the Federal Government until 2013. The Senate President is also being charged for failure to fully declare his assets as required by the law in 2003, when he became the governor of Kwara State.
Here’s what you need to about the proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which started off yesterday.
The motion to dismiss the CCT chairman
Raphael Oluyede, one of lawyers on Bukola Saraki’s legal team, reportedly filed a motion to dismiss the CCT chairman, Justice Danladi Umar. On Wednesday, April 20, Oluyede announced his application to have Umar withdrawn from Saraki’s ongoing trial on the basis that he was allegedly under criminal investigation by the EFCC. Oluyede reportedly told Umar, who threatened to have him imprisoned, that “I will not be browbeaten not to speak. There are too many cloudy relationships between you and the EFCC and that is why you have been biased in this case and that is why we are asking you to disqualify yourself.”
However, the motion was seemingly dismissed as Umar produced a letter from the EFCC, showing that he has been exonerated from the bribery charge he was being accused of by Oluyede and other lawyers intervened in calming the judge down.
Is Bukola Saraki involved in money laundering?
Michael Wetkas, whose team within the EFCC as reportedly been conducting investigations on charges levelled against Saraki, claimed that most of Saraki’s offshore assets were discovered while he was being investigated for money laundering. According to Wetkas, Saraki’s aides and other individuals with fabricated names were responsible for cash deposits in Saraki’s accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc.
About the ‘burnt documents’
While being questioned, Wetkas allegedly confirmed that his team made a request for the documented instructions, telexes and other official papers that relate to Saraki’s foreign transfers as well as his GTB accounts. However, he claims that what he has right now are “the series of transaction documents which the bank gave [him, and this] convinced [his] team that the account existed.”
Wetkas, not being able to access some of the documents, claimed that his team was given a police affidavit which shows that some of the documents in question were burnt during a fire outbreak in GTB, but he claimed that the transfers were effected.
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