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Saraki’s acquittal: FG to commence appeal process this week

ImageFile: No going back on Magu’s rejection, Senate affirms
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki

…to send CCT records to Appeal Court

As parts of the preliminary process to challenge the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, ruling acquitting Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki of all charges brought against him, indications have emerge that the Federal Government is set to transmit to the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, over 3,000 pages of the records of the 21 months trial of the Saraki at the CCT.

TheNewsGuru.com reports that the transmission of records of the trial to the Court of Appeal is a legal requirement for the Federal Government to validate its notice of appeal filed against the CCT’s judgment, which recently discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false assets declaration.

According to legal experts, the Court of Appeal only assigns an appeal number to a case after receiving the “records of appeal” transmitted to it from the lower court.

The records transmission will set the stage for exchange of briefs between the parties involved in the case before a date for hearing of the appeal can be fixed by the Court of Appeal.

Ahead of the records transmission, which would likely take place this week, it was learnt that the legal team of the Federal Government and Saraki’s lawyers had, last week, participated in a “settlement of records” exercise.

During the records settlement exercise, the two parties agreed on the records of the trial before the CCT that would be sent to the Court of Appeal.

Accoding to a report by The Punch, the document, which the appellant (the Federal Government) and the respondent (Saraki) settled on, were over 3,000 pages.

The paper also gathered that neither of the parties is foreclosed from seeking additional documents to be transmitted along with the already settled documents.

The record of the proceedings, which started in September 2015 and ended on June 14, 2016, when the Danladi Umar-led CCT dismissed the 18 counts preferred against Saraki, was said to have formed the bulk of the documents to be transferred to the Court of Appeal.

The documents agreed upon by parties to the appeal for transmission to the Court of Appeal were said to include the application to prefer charge; the first (original) charge; the amended charge; and the further amended charge.

The records also comprised Saraki’s motion on notice dated March 4, 2016, which sought the dismissal of the case on among other grounds that he was not invited to make a statement before he was charged.

Also to be included in the file are, prosecution’s counter-affidavit to the said motion; the prosecution’s further counter-affidavit to the said motion; the defendant’s further affidavit to the motion and a copy of the CCT’s delivered on March 24, 2016 dismissing the motion, among others.

It was also gathered taht the parties would return to the CCT within the week for the “compilation of records” during which they would both witness the sorting out of the various documents and include them in file to be transferred to the Court of Appeal.

After the records compilation, the file would be sent for transmission to the Court of Appeal.

The Head, Press and Public Relations of the CCT, Mr. Ibraheem Al-Hassan, confirmed that the records settlement took place last week.

He also said he did not know the volume of the records to be transmitted, because he did not participate in the records settlement exercise.

Al-Hassan said, “The parties involved in the case met last week to settle the records of appeal. I cannot confirm the documents that were agreed on.

I also do not know the volume because I did not participate in the exercise of settlement but the two parties have agreed on a date for the transmission of the records.”

TheNewsGuru.com reports that the CCT had on June 14 ruled that Saraki has no case to answer in the 18 charges of non-declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government.

But in a swift reaction, the federal government expressed shock and  insisted it will appeal the ruling saying the judgement was unreasonable.

TheNewsGuru.com reports that Saraki had since said he was “unperturbed” by the appeal filed by the federal government challenging his acquittal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

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