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FG To Send Saraki’s CCT Records To Appeal Court This Week |The Republican News

SarakiBukola
     Senate President Bukola Saraki

Ade Adesomoju

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 Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

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 our correspondent gathered 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.

Our correspondent learnt from credible sources involved in the case that the document, which the appellant (the Federal Government) and the respondent (Saraki) settled on, were over 3,000 pages.

SUNDAY PUNCH 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.

Our correspondent learnt that 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.”

Saraki, who was charged before the tribunal in September 2015, was on June 14, 2017 discharged and acquitted by the Danladi Umar-led CCT.

The two-man panel of the CCT, in its unanimous judgment upheld Saraki’s no-case submission and exonerated him of all the 18 amended charges.

The judgment of the CCT was anchored on the grounds that the prosecution, after calling four witnesses and tendering 48 documentary exhibits, was unable to establish any prima facie case against the Senate President.

But the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, through its private prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on June 20, 2017, filed an 11-ground notice of appeal against the CCT’s judgment.

The charges instituted against Saraki before the CCT related to the alleged breaches of the code of conduct for public officers, acts which were said to be punishable under the Constitution and the CCB/CCT Act.

He allegedly committed the breaches by making false declaration of his assets while Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2007 for his first term and between 2007 and 2011 for his second term and from 2011 to 2015 as senator.

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Federal Government To Appeal Saraki’s Acquittal |The Republican News

Okoi-Obono-Obla

Special Adviser to the President on Prosecution, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

ADE ADESOMOJU

Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, said on Saturday that the Federal Government had finalised its decision to appeal last Wednesday’s ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal discharging and acquitting the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of charges of false asset declaration.

Obono-Obla, who vowed that no one would be allowed to get away with any act of corruption, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent that the government would file a notice of appeal against Saraki’s acquittal by Wednesday.

The presidential aide, who works in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, argued that the two-man panel of the CCT led by Danladi Umar, misapplied the law by adopting the wrong standard of proof in exonerating Saraki.

He said, “Definitely we are going to appeal against the ruling in Saraki’s case. One of our grounds of appeal is that the tribunal misapplied the law. For instance, the standard of proof that the tribunal used is not applicable to charges of false declaration of asset.

“It (charge of false asset declaration) is a strict liability offence, so you cannot apply the standard of proof that is applied in the regular criminal proceedings.

“Surely, we will file the appeal next (this) week Wednesday.”

Obono-Obla had earlier in an interview with The PUNCH, described the CCT ruling discharging Saraki as a travesty of justice, pedestrian and outrageous.

He said on Saturday that the government was resolute in its fight against corruption and would appeal against all the recent “nonsensical” rulings delivered in some high-profile corruption cases.

Obono-Obla said, “We are resolute. We are going to fight this war to the end. We must clean up Nigeria, otherwise, the nation is doomed. We have gone back to the drawing board to change our tactics and strategies.

“Anybody who thinks he can get away with an act of corruption is dreaming. We are going to file an appeal against all the nonsensical rulings that we have got from our court in recent times.”

The Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him.

The two-man panel of the CCT led by its Chairman, Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission which Saraki filed after the prosecution closed its case with the fourth and the last prosecution witness testifying on May 4, 2017.

There were 48 documentary exhibits said to have been tendered in the course of the trial.

Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki of all the charges on, among other grounds, that failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it part of the proof of evidence was fatal to the case.

He described as “absurd” that neither Saraki’s statement nor the report of investigation said to have been carried out was produced before the tribunal

He agreed with the defence team led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the prosecution’s evidence had been manifestly discredited during cross-examination by the defence.

He added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) was “so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could convict” based on it.

The tribunal chairman specifically noted that the third prosecution witness, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, who is Head, Intelligence Unit of the CCB, only gave hearsay evidence on the information the witness purportedly received from the EFCC.

Umar also noted that the evidence of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, an operative of the EFCC, was unreliable.

Concerning the evidence of second prosecution witness, Mr. Amazi Nwachuckwu, Head of Funds Transfer Unit of the Guaranty Trust Bank, Umar noted that witness had testified that documents relating to alleged foreign transfers by Saraki had been consumed in a fire incident so there was nothing to prove the charges that were based on the documents.

The tribunal chairman also noted none of the four witnesses, including Mr. Bayo Dauda, an official of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ilorin branch in Kwara State, who testified as the fourth witness, gave evidence that could prove any of the ingredients of the alleged offences.

The charges instituted against Saraki before the CCT related to the alleged breaches of the code of conduct for public officers, acts which were said to be punishable under the Constitution and the CCB/CCT Act.

He allegedly committed the breaches by making false declaration of his assets while being governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2007 for his first term and between 2007 and 2011 for his second term as governor and from 2011 to 2015 as a senator.

Among the breaches were that he obtained an N375m loan from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 2010, converted it to £1,515,194.53 and transferred to the United Kingdom for the full and final mortgage payment for a London property.

The prosecution accused him of abuse of office by paying back the loan with funds belonging to Kwara State Government.

Additional charges against him included the allegation that he continued to receive salary and emoluments as Governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, from the Federal Government as a senator between June 2011 and October 2013.

He was also said to have failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest in the property at 42, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

The charges also included an allegation that Saraki failed to make a written declaration of his “properties and assets”, that is, N77m made into his account with Guaranty Trust Bank, GRA, Ilorin branch on September 5, 2007.

The prosecution alleged that the sum of N77m was not fairly attributable to his “income, gifts or loan approved by the Code of Conduct for Public Officers”.

The prosecution also alleged that while being a public officer, he operated bank accounts outside Nigeria, and failed to declare the foreign accounts to the CCB while being governor and a senator during the period.

Properties that he allegedly made false declaration about included 17, 17A and 17B Mcdonald, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plot 2A, Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 37A, Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos which he allegedly bought through Carlisle Properties; No. 1 and 3 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja, otherwise known as 2482, Cadastral Zone A06, Abuja.   (Punchng.com)

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Saraki Owns Warehouse Where He Stores ‘Stolen Money’ Why We Stole N310m, Aides Claim

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 Some of Senate President Bukola Saraki’s aides involved in the November 20, 2015, theft of N310 million being transported to the senator have disclosed why they stole the cash. The aides snatched the cash from a bureau de change operator at 5 Nana Close, Maitama in Abuja.
Tracked down by SaharaReporters and speaking anonymously, some of Mr. Saraki’s aides, who are currently on the run, said the senator was in the habit of warehousing large volumes of cash, mainly for use as bribes to judges, investigators and prosecutors to ensure the scuttling of his trial for false assets declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The theft, first reported by SaharaReporters, featured five officers of the Department of State Security (DSS) led by Abdulrasheed Maigari, the most senior of the DSS officers attached to Senator Sarak‎i. Mr. Maigari hails from Dungo local government area of Taraba State. The other DSS officers involved in the heist were Ibbi George from Adamawa State, Patrick Ishaya from Plateau State, Peter Okoye from Delta State, and Solomon Yunusa from Kogi State. Other participants included four other aides of Mr. Saraki and five serving military officers led by one Captain Hassan Mshelia.
The aides at large revealed to a correspondent of SaharaReporters that Senator Saraki often used a house, 18 Lake Chad Crescent, Abuja, as a warehouse for illegally acquired money. They said huge stashes of cash from First Bank Plc. branch located at Coomassie House in Abuja were often stored in the house. The aides added that the funds were then moved on behalf of the Senate President for use in a variety of special “political assignments” ordered by Mr. Saraki.
The sources said cash was regularly moved from the bank and the house on Lake Chad Crescent to Mr. Saraki’s mansion at 5 Nana Close in Maitama, from which lawyers, as well as judges and their designated representatives, collect the cash to obstruct justice.
They said Mr. Saraki regularly used five of his official security aides, supported by five soldiers usually chosen by Paul Ibok, his Chief Security Officer, to move the funds. The aides disclosed to SaharaReporters that, between October and November 2015, there were three cash movements to No 5 Nana Close.
According to them, the cash was usually received by Mr. Saraki’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Peter Makanjuola, who also has the duty of distributing it to judicial officers with whom various deals had been struck regarding plots to scuttle the Senate President’s trial.
In one instance, the aides disclosed, N550 million was delivered to Justice Alfa Belgore, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, to carry out an illicit assignment of obstructing justice on behalf of Mr. Saraki. On another occasion, DSS officers working with soldiers took the sum of N370 million to a venue. According to the wanted DSS operatives, the Senate President had 23 DSS operatives attached to him. The DSS officers are split into two teams (A and B), with both teams taking turns to provide security for the Senate President, who lives in an eight-bedroom official residence. The building, known as “White House,” shares a wall with the official residence of the Inspector-General of Police.
Our sources said that having observed the unrestricted movement of large sums to Senator Saraki’s home, some of his DSS aides also developed an appetite for cash. Thus, on November 20, 2015, an aide of Mr. Saraki directed the leader of Team A, Ibrahim Shariff, to call Mr. Maigari, who had been off duty, to return to work for a “special assignment”. On his return, Mr. Maigari was told to join four colleagues and five soldiers to go meet one Ibrahim Kabir, a First Bank employee, to pick up money for the Senate President. They said Mr. Kabir happens to be the account officer for Hassan Abubakar Dankani, Mr. Saraki’s favorite bureau de change operator. One longtime associate stated that Mr. Saraki had been using Mr. Dandani to launder funds since the senator’s days as the governor of Kwara State.
Our sources said that, with the increasing scrutiny on him, Senator Saraki had decided against using the DSS officers attached to him to escort cash movement. Instead, the senator asked the management of the bureau de change to make their own arrangement for security escorts to move the cash to Senator Saraki’s home.
However, with their own growing hunger for money, Senator Saraki’s security details had hatched a plot to corner the cash. And they recruited other colleagues and Captain Mshelia. Dressed in military fatigue, the security agents positioned themselves near the senator’s home and ambushed the vehicle in which the bureau de change operator was conveying the cash. SaharaReporters learned that the security officers told those moving the cash that they were under arrest for money laundering. The police officers hired as escorts by the bureau de change operator had to leave the scene when the DSS men showed their identification tags, which gave the impression that they were on legal duty.
Once the policemen had left, the DSS officers, including those attached to Mr. Saraki, told the bureau de change operator that they knew of the destination for the cash and that moving huge sums of cash outside the banking system was illegal. The DSS officers then demanded N350 million in order to allow the vehicle to proceed. After a period of haggling, the officers settled for N310 million.
When Mr. Dankani was informed of the development, he phoned Senator Saraki, who instructed him never to mention his name in connection with the cash. Unaware that those who carried out the theft included members of his security detail, Mr. Saraki thought he was safe from being exposed.
SHOCKER: Saraki Owns Warehouse Where He Stockpile 'Stolen Money', Why We Stole His N310m - Aides Expose
Abdulrasheed Ahmadu Maigari, Saraki’s Details
Photo Credit: Sahara Reporters
 Shortly after SaharaReporters reported the heist, disclosing that the cash belonged to Mr. Saraki, the senator’s spokesman, Yusuf Olaniyonu, issued a statement denying the senator’s ownership of the stolen money. “We want to say categorically that Dr. Saraki is not the owner of the stolen money. He does not know the owner who is said to be a bureau de change operator. The police that investigated the robbery incident and the SSS, which issued a statement on it, can confirm that there is no link between the Senate President with the ownership of the money,” Mr. Olaniyonu claimed in a statement.
Mr. Olaniyonu also told SaharaReporters that the police had issued a statement on the matter. But when SaharaReporters demanded where to find the said police statement, he said we should check a ThisDay report, which he claimed contained the police statement.
The paper quoted Wilson Inalegwu, Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, as saying: “In the course of the investigation, we were able to get the names and identities of some of them (the suspects). Unfortunately, two of the DSS operatives are attached to the Senate President.”
Ibbi George, DSS officer
Ibbi George, A DSS Officer Arrested
Photo Credit: Sahara Reporters
Every step of the way, Mr. Saraki made valiant efforts, abetted by the DSS boss, to prevent the money from being linked to him. Mr. Dankani, the owner of the bureau de change, said the robbery took place at 5 Nana Close, off Mississippi Road in Maitama and claimed that the robbers dropped off his boys on the outskirts of Abuja. His version of events, however, was disputed by Mr. Saraki’s DSS aides, who told this online newspaper that there was no need to have taken them, as there was no confrontation between them and Mr. Dankani’s boys. After taking the cash, the aides said, they left for Maigari’s house in Keffi, Nasarawa State, where they shared the loot before returning to work with Mr. Saraki.
Mr. Dankani also told SaharaReporters that he is a nephew of the former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. Mr. Saraki’s DSS aides disclosed to SaharaReporters that the ex-head of state and the Senate President are very close friends, adding that they had accompanied him numerous times on his visits to Abubakar at his Lake Chad Crescent mansion.
Six days after the theft, both Mr. Maigari and Mr. Ibbi were arrested around 8:30 pm, as they prepared to accompany Senator Saraki to see President Muhammadu Buhari. After their arrest, the wanted aides narrated, they requested to see the DSS Director-General (DG), Lawal Daura, to explain why they stole the money. Mr. Daura declined the request but sent a DSS officer to tell them that the matter would be resolved internally. He sent firm instructions through the officer that the arrested officers should make statements, but ensure that such statements should not link the stolen cash to Mr. Saraki in any way. As such, the detained officers wrote choreographed statements dictated to them by investigators.
Mr. Saraki’s aides on the run disclosed that Mr. Daura and the Senate President are intimate friends and that, on at least four occasions, he secretly met with the senator after the latter’s corruption trial had begun. The first of the clandestine meetings took place at Barcelona Apartments in Abuja. On two other occasions, Mr. Daura and Senator Saraki met at night at the Senate President’s official residence. SaharaReporters has constantly reported that the DSS boss, Mr. Daura, was providing strategic support to the Senate President to help him frustrate his trial.
A statement issued by the DSS on December 6, 2015, was carefully tweaked to give the public the misleading impression that the stolen cash belonged to the bureau de change operator. The statement also failed to provide details of the purported robbery. Signed by Tony Opuiyo, the DSS statement said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the general public that the Service has arrested two (2) out of five (5) of its staff involved in the robbery and sharing, on November 20th, 2015, of the sum of three hundred and ten million Naira (N310m) belonging to a Bureau De Change operator in Abuja. While three (3) of the DSS staff are now at large, the Military Authorities have commenced a detailed investigation of five (5) of its personnel involved in the crime.” It added that preliminary investigations revealed that Mr. Maigari conspired with four colleagues to steal the money.
Currently, only Mr. Maigari and Mr. Ibbi are in detention at Kuje Prison, awaiting trial. The others are at large. Representatives of the detained operatives said the DSS first charged them to court in April 2016, after media reports revealed that the money stolen belonged to Mr. Saraki. They were charged to court for planning to demand their freedom through the filing of a fundamental right enforcement suit in Abuja.
Mr. Saraki’s security aides who remain on the run told SaharaReporters that five soldiers are also in detention at Kuje Prison in connection with the theft. In April, the police charged the soldiers to court for robbery. But curiously, the soldiers are being tried separately from the DSS officers because the DSS refused to hand over Mr. Maigari and Mr. Ibbi to the police for prosecution, claiming it did not trust the police.
Representatives of the detained DSS officers said they recently discovered that Sunday Agaba, a man who accompanied them to steal and was described as a bureau de change operator, is actually a retired Army officer. He was shot by the police as they arrested him. When SaharaReporters blew the lid on this, both Mr. Maigari and Mr. Ibbi were removed from the underground cell where they had been kept and allowed for the first time to meet with their respective families. It was during such interactions that they realized they had been branded, armed robbers. They disclosed that if they were prosecuted along with the soldiers, they would give the exact narration of the alleged robbery incident.
SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Dankani was listed as a witness in the case. But on cross-examination in April, he claimed he was forced to come for the trial. When SaharaReporters contacted Mr. Dankani shortly before this report was written, he claimed to have a hazy recollection of what went on with the bullion van on the day of the incident. However, he insisted that the money stolen belonged to him.
The DSS operatives being prosecuted claimed that the stolen money was recovered from them in full. However, the DSS told the court that it recovered only N96 million.
The DSS operatives are due to appear again at the Federal Capital Territory High Court 18 when judges return from vacation.
Mr. Saraki too is on vacation with his entire family in Ibiza, Spain. The theft of N310 million was not the only time Mr. Saraki’s money laundering had provoked aides to steal from him. A group of aides at his house in Ilorin recently stole cash worth N110 million from his bedroom in Kwara State.
(SaharaReporters)

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Federal Gov’t Should Drop Saraki’s CCT Case, APC Senators Tell Party

Bukola-Saraki

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki

Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki during his ongoing false asset declaration trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja…on Monday. Photo: Olatunji Obasa

John Alechenu, Eniola Akinkuotu and Leke Baiyewu

The All Progressives Congress caucus at the Senate on Tuesday expressed its grievances against the executive at a meeting with the party’s National Working Committee.

It was gathered that at the closed-door meeting, which started at 2.45pm and ended at 5.25pm, the APC senators absolved themselves of blame over the non-confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

It was learnt that the senators told the party leaders that Magu’s confirmation “died” before getting to the Senate and that the senators only did its funeral.

Investigations also showed that senators, who were loyal to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, demanded the withdrawal of the suit against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, describing the trial as political.

The meeting, which was held in Room 022 in the New Building section of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, began shortly after Saraki and the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, led others to the venue at 2.30pm before journalists were sent out at 2.45pm.

In his opening remarks, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the event was historic as it was the first time the leadership of the party would be meeting with the senators.

“This will be the first meeting of the APC Senate caucus with our National Working Committee. On behalf of my colleagues here, Mr. Chairman, I welcome you to this historic, memorable and very important interaction with the Senate APC Caucus of the National Assembly,” he said.

Odigie-Oyegun, who made reference to the point made by Lawan in his remarks, also described the meeting as historic.

Oyegun calls for ceasefire

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Odigie-Oyegun called on party stakeholders to “cease fire.”

He said, “My appeal is that as we start now the process of reconstructing relationships and consultations, there should be what I will call a ceasefire in terms of the kind of abuse that is used all round on one institution of government or the other, even principal parties of these institutions.”

Saraki pointed out that whether there were issues or not, regular consultations between the caucus and the party were important.

He stated, “Despite all the noise you heard last week, we still passed an amendment to the INEC law that had been there for over six or seven years.

“By this time next week, our Committee on Petroleum will lay the PIB, which has never been done.”

“It’s unfortunate but the most important thing is that a lot of stakeholders must respect these institutions. These institutions are there now and they are going to be there after, and we should not allow our selfish interests to enable us to try and ridicule the institutions.”

When asked if the suspension of the former Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, was raised at the meeting, Saraki replied, “Your question again is distracting from the issues. You have 108 senators here and you have the National Chairman. Let us focus on national issues.”

Why Magu was not confirmed

A senator, who was at the meeting, but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lawmakers drew the attention of the party leaders to the reports of the Department of State Services that indicted Magu.

It was gathered that the senators took on the national leadership of the APC, accusing the NWC of staying aloof while the crisis between the executive and the legislature was worsening.

The lawmaker, who confided in The PUNCH, said members of the Senate APC Caucus berated the party for failing to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to caution his political appointees.

Magu’s issue dead on arrival

The source said, “We told the leadership of our party that political appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari were using the media against us, especially Magu. We stated to them that Magu (case) was brought in dead; that what we did was to only conduct his funeral.

“We called the attention of the party leaders to the fact that an agency under the executive issues a damning report twice against the nominee under the same executive. We told them we were not to be blamed for what happened to Magu.

“Many reiterated the fact that Magu’s case was dead on arrival at the Senate and there was no way we could have ignored the report and clear him.”

‘SGF, Customs CG, others disrespecting Senate’

According to the source, the senators accused Buhari’s appointees of disrespecting them, the senators said, “We also called for more respect for the institution of the Senate, especially by those under the executive. That was where the cases of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Mr. Babachir Lawal) and the Director General of the Nigeria Customs Service (Col. Hameed Ali) were cited.”

The senator further said the lawmakers reminded the NWC that the National Assembly caucus of the party was critical to the existence and well being of the APC as the members were the ones who were funding the party.

He added, “We told the party that we have been considerate enough. In fact, we would have rejected about four ministerial nominees but we felt we should not embarrass the President Buhari-led administration.”

When asked about the demands of the APC leadership, the source said the members of the NWC could not refute some of the issues raised by the lawmakers.

The Senator stated, “They also realised that they had not been playing their role. We even asked Odigie-Oyegun if he usually takes directives from President Buhari before taking actions regarding the party. We told him that he did not need to consult with the President before playing his role as the leader of the party. We also warned the leaders that our party might find it difficult to win elections the way things are going.”

Saraki’s men demand withdrawal of CCT case

It was also gathered that some APC senators, particularly those loyal to Saraki, urged the party to ensure that the ongoing trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal was stopped, describing it as political.

Another source at the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The APC leaders said we were too confrontational against the President.

“They said the Presidency was not supposed to be finding things difficult with us since we belonged to the same party.

“However, several senators explained that they were not happy with the President’s style. They complained that the President was not giving them due consideration especially. They said most of the people the President was appointing were unknown to them.

“Some of the senators also asked the party leadership to ensure that Saraki’s trial at the CCT was stopped as this would be the perfect way to reconcile the two arms of government.”

It was learnt that the party leaders promised to convey the issues to Buhari while the senators said they would ensure that the 2017 budget was swiftly looked into as well as the screening of the Resident Electoral Commissioners and ministers.

Senate may resume RECs’ confirmation

There were also indications after the meeting that the Senate was set to resume the confirmation hearing for ministers and the RECs nominated by the President.  (Punchng.com)

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How Saraki Funded Undeclared Foreign Accounts As Kwara Governor-GT Bank Manager |The Republican News

How Saraki Funded Undeclared Foreign Accounts as Kwara Governor - GT Bank Manager

A witness in the ongoing trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki has told the Code of Conduct Tribunal that Mr. Saraki made foreign funds transfer of over $3 million while he was governor of Kwara State.
The Nigerian code of conduct bars public officials including state governors from operating foreign bank accounts.
The witness, Nwachukwu Amazu, a banker with the GTBank said Mr. Saraki made several transactions, including a transfer of over $73,000 from his dollar account, maintained with the GTBank to his foreign account in the American Express Service Europe Ltd.
He said the purpose of the transfer was to fund a foreign credit card, belonging to the American Express Bank and owned by the defendant.
“He has a domiciliary account, with the GTB in US dollars and in pounds sterling. The domiciliary account is domiciled in Ilorin,” he said.
When asked to explain the mode of operation of Mr. Saraki’s foreign credit card, the witness said he did not know how the card operates.
“I don’t know anything about the card, except if I explain with my knowledge of the GTB credit card in the Nigerian perspective,” he said.
Mr. Amazu who worked with the funds transfer unit of the GTB, between 2006 and 2009 before he was transferred; then returned to the unit in 2011, as its head, said Mr. Saraki made other transfers including the transfer of £761, 904. 76 in February 2010.
He also said another sum of £632, 411.7 was also transferred for the defendant to Fortis Bank in London.
He made several other testimonies of funds transferred through Mr. Saraki’s domiciliary accounts to foreign accounts belonging to the Senate President abroad.
Earlier, the Tribunal chairman asked the defendant if he needed water and gestured to offer water to Mr. Saraki, inside the dock. (Authourity)

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