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Government & Politics

CCT Trial: FG Set to Drop Some Charges Against Saraki

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There may be a new twist to the on-going prosecution of Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as the Federal Government is considering dropping or amending two of the 13 charges preferred against him according to Today News.

The planned move, according to a source, is predicated on the discovery that count 11 and 12 of the charge sheet cannot be proved. They charges alleged he operated a foreign account while in office as governor.

Charge 11 states: “That you, Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki on or about August 25, 2008 within the jurisdiction of this tribunal, while being a public officer as the governor of Kwara State did operate a bank account outside Nigeria when you transferred $73,223.28 from your Guaranty Trust Bank Plc domiciliary account No 441441953210 to the American Express Services Europe Limited No: 730580 for onward credit to your American Express Bank, New York card account No: 374588216836009…”

Charge 12 states: “That you, Dr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki between August 2009 and October 2012 within the jurisdiction of this tribunal, while being a public officer as the governor of Kwara State and senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria did operate a bank account outside Nigeria when you transferred $3,400,000.00 from your Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. domiciliary account No 441441953210 to the American Express Services Europe Limited no: 730580 for onward credit to your American Express Bank, New York card account No: 374588216836009…”

There are indications that the Federal Government may have been reacting to doubts already being raised at the highest quarters that instead of being accounts, the numbers quoted in the charges are that of credit cards which are not operated based on ownership of a bank account.

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American Express Services Europe Limited is different from the American Express Bank. While the latter is a money deposit, full-fledged commercial bank, the former is a credit /debit card services operating company.

In such instance, 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.

The facts of the new development may have become known recently to the prosecutor after an attempt to clarify the true position of things with the American Express Card Services Limited.

It was not clear whether Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) will replace them with fresh charges, but sources say the charges may simply be dropped while the prosecutor concentrates on proving the remaining charges.

Source: Today.ng

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