CCT Judge Adjourns Saraki’s Trial Till January To Attend To “Other Important Things”

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, ‎Danladi Umar, said on Tuesday that he has other important things to do, as he adjourned the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki till January 11.

Umar while adjourning the ongoing trial on Tuesday said he had “other important things to attend to.”

Earlier, Counsel to the Senate President, Paul Usoro concluded his cross-examination of the first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial, Michael Wetkas.

Wetkas, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was cross-examined on count 16 of the charge of false declaration of assets against Saraki.

The charge reads in part: “That you Saraki while being senator did receive monthly salary as governor of Kwara state.”

The witness had on Monday informed the tribunal that Saraki who is standing trial for false and anticipatory assets declaration when he was the governor of Kwara State, lied that he procured a property with proceeds from a rice and sugar sales.

The prosecution witness during the cross-examination admitted that Saraki was not interrogated in relation to the said charges.

Senator Blasts Colleagues For Seeking Control Of CCB,CCT

A Nigerian senator has condemned his colleagues for appropriating to themselves the control over the two anti-graft agencies, the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, and the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
The Bureau is mandated by law to keep and verify the asset declaration form of all public officials. The Bureau then arraigns any public official with questionable asset or asset forms before the CCT. One of such being prosecuted is Senate President Bukola Saraki who is accused of falsely declaring his asset when he was governor.
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill, already passed in the House of Representatives, to transfer control over both the CCB and the CCT from the presidency to the National Assembly.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki being tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on allegations of false declaration of asset
On Sunday, Abdullahi Abubakar, representing Jigawa North West in the Senate, said the decision by his colleagues was self serving.

Mr. Abubakar made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Birninkudu.

The senator, who said he was away on oversight duties when the amendment was made, stressed that he was completely opposed to the decision.

The lawmaker said: “Laws are meant to outlive individuals not meant for individuals.”

The Senator also said the current Bill on inheritance before the Senate negates the provisions on freedom of worship, as such would not see the light of the day.

According to him, Christians and Muslims in the country are against the law.

“We are there as representatives of the people and anything that the people don’t want will not scale through.

“We will make sure that the aspirations of the people we represent are not sacrificed at the altar of a few members of the Senate.

“Even though the bill has passed second reading, I believe any law can be stepped down at any stage and this is not an exception,” Mr. Abubakar added.

Senate Snatches Powers Over CCB, CCT From President

The National Assembly on Thursday transferred presidential powers over the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal Act (CCB and CCT) to itself.

At the conclusion of work on the Bill to amend the CCB and CCT, the Assembly successfully altered section 18 (2) to enable the National Assembly to confer additional powers on the CCB instead of the president.

The Bill stopped the president from enjoying the powers of exempting public officers from investigation and trial.
Instead, it gave that power to the National Assembly.

The Bill, initiated and first passed by the House of Representatives, was transmitted to the Senate for concurrence in May.

With the concurrence of the Senate and the House, the Bill is expected to be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The bill’s passage is coming as the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who doubles as chairman of the National Assembly, faces trial at the CCT, over allegation of asset falsification.

The charge was brought against Mr. Saraki in 2015 by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The introduction of the bill to the National Assembly was opposed by many Nigerians, who saw the move as an attempt to emasculate the CCB and CCT at a time Mr. Saraki has a case before them.

Section 18 (1) of the existing Act reads says “The President may, by order, exempt any cadre of public officers from the provisions of this Act if it appears to him that their position in the public service is below the rank which he considers appropriate for the application of those provisions.

Section 18(2) of the existing Act provides that “The President may, by order, confer on the Bureau such additional powers as may appear to him to be necessary to enable it to discharge more effectively the functions conferred upon it under this act.”

The Senate also agreed with the House that the appointment of chairman of the CCB be based on tenure of two terms of five years each.

The Bill reduced the tenure of the chairman of the Bureau and members from serving until they attain 70 years to a term of five years, subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

“The chairman and members shall serve for a term of five years subject to renewal for one further term.”

Section 20 (4) has made it mandatory that the appointment of the chairman and members of the CCT be subjected to the confirmation of the Senate.

Another significant amendment effected to the CCT/CCB Act is to make it compulsory for any case of breach or non-compliance to be brought to the notice of the person concerned.

“This is to enable him to make a written admission of such breach or non-compliance and where such is done, there shall be no reference to the tribunal,” the bill says.

A key peg of Mr. Saraki’s defence at the CCT has been that the CCB did not avail him fair hearing after spotting a suspected breach in his asset declaration filings.

But the passage of the Bill on Thursday witnessed the exchange of unpleasant words on the floor of the upper chamber.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, had to intervene to restore peace.
Contributing, Ahmed Lawan (APC – Yobe) said the passage of the bill would be seen as a move by the Senate to favour itself. He said the Senate was merely a “moderator of legislation”.

“This bill emanated from the House of Representatives and our colleagues there passed it. I agree totally with the submissions of some of our colleagues that we don’t have to tarry to pass it.

“We will be doing ourselves and this national assembly a better service if we step down this thing and move on some other things that will make this a better bill, only when we convince ourselves that what we are trying to do is not for our sake.”

“I feel very passionate about this that whatever we feel about any situation that we are in, let’s make sure that that thing doesn’t get into us when we legislate for the sake of our people.” (NAN)

Appeal Court Declines To Stop Saraki’s CCT Trial

The Court of Appeal yesterday refused to stop the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

In a unanimous judgment, a five-man panel of the Abuja division dismissed an appeal by Saraki, describing it as an abuse of court’s process and a bid to evade trial before the CCT.

The judgment was one of the many appeals filed by Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him on charges of false assets declaration.

The judgment has effectively resolved all issues surrounding the jurisdiction of the CCT to try the case against the senate president.

This is the second time the court has ruled against Saraki in his challenge of the tribunal’s jurisdiction to try him.

The court had in a judgment on October 30, 2015, dismissed an appeal by Saraki on the jurisdiction of the CCT. The court asked him to submit himself for trial on the 16-count charge brought against him.

The October 30 judgment of the Appeal Court was upheld by the Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on February 5 in an appeal by Saraki.

Justice Abdul Aboki, who read the lead judgment yesterday, affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try Saraki based on the charge brought against him by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The court upheld an earlier ruling of the Danladi Umar-led CCT that the tribunal had the requisite jurisdiction to try Saraki.

It held that the AGF acted within his statutory powers in filing the charge.

As against Sarali’s contention that he was not invited by the CCB before the charge was filed, the appellate court held that by the provision of the Constitution, the CCB waýs not under obligation to first invite anyone to make a written admission of breaches in his asset declaration forms before charges could be filed against him.

It held that the tribunal had rightly departed from its earlier decision exonerating a former Governor of Lagos State and a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubuý on account that he was not invited by the CCB the allegations levelled against him.

The court held that the filing of the charge about 13 years after the offences were allegedly committed was immaterial, describing Saraki’s argument in that regard as sentimental.

The court upheld the tribunal’s decision to depart from its earlier decision in the case involving Tinubu.

The tribunal had freed Tinubu on account that he was not first invited by the CCB to confront him with the allegations levelled against him before a charge was filed.

The appellate court also struck down the provisions of the CCB/CCT Act relied on by Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) in making his submission.

“The proviso relied upon by the appellant is a slippery ground; it cannot stand side by side with the provisions of paragraphs 3(d) and (e) of the 1st Schedule to the Constitution.

“The said Constitution having expressly established the constitutional powers of the Bureau and at the same time bestows power to investigate upon the Bureau, all the added and unsolicited proviso of 3(b) of the CCB/CCT Act cannot stand.

“The alleged unproven evidence that the appellant was not accorded opportunity to a make a written admission pursuant to Section 3(a) and (b) of the CCB/T Act is not condition precedent for adjudication by the Code of Conduct Tribunal. It is not an issue of jurisdiction.

“The lower tribunal did not also violate the doctrine of judicial precedents as it has not been proved that it did not follow any relevant judicial precedent.

“The appellant also claimed, albeit erroneously, that the lower tribunal not only refused to follow Supreme Court decision it also refused to be bound by its own earlier decision in FRN Vs Tinubu.

“The appellant is very much aware that the lower tribunal has subsequently reversed itself in the Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Emil Lemke Inyang because it found out that the decision in Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Tinubu was reached per incuriam.

“And the tribunal did not avert its mind to clear provision of paragraph 3(e) of the 1st Schedule when Tinubu’s case was decided,’” Justice Aboki said in the lead judgment.

CCB Amendment Bill Resurfaces In Senate As Saraki’s Trial Resumes

The controversial amendment of Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Tribunal Act Bill resurfaced in the Senate yesterday.

The Bill entitled “Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act CAP C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (HB.320)” was read for the first time in the Senate yesterday.

Being a House Bill, the promoters of the proposed legislation are seeking Senate concurrence in order to forward it to the President for assent.

A similar Bill earlier sponsored by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) was hastily withdrawn following sustained public out cry against it.

Most of those who kicked against the Bill wondered why it should be introduced at a time the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki is being tried by the CCT.

They contended that even if there was merit in the Bill, its timing was wrong.

The trial of the Senate President, which was adjourned for the judicial recess, only just resumed yesterday also.

The withdrawn Senate version of the Bill sought particularly to remove the CCB and CCT from under the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The sponsor of the Bill insisted that it was dangerous for such an important public institution like the CCB to left under the control of one man.

It is not yet known how the upper chamber will consider the referral Bill.

CCT Chairman Rules Out Stepping Down From Saraki’s Case

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, on Wednesday dismissed the suit filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki that the former should withdraw from the ongoing trial of the latter at the tribunal over false assets declaration.
Saraki, who is standing trial for false assets declaration had through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, SAN, filed an application which sought the withdrawal of the tribunal Chairman on the grounds of bias.

Saraki had, in April, filed a similar application asking Umar to withdraw from the case alleging corruption.

The Senate President had alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was using the chairman against him.

However, the tribunal chairman dismissed the application, saying the application lacked merit.

Agabi had cited a statement wherein Umar said Saraki was employing delay tactics because he was afraid of the “final consequences” of the trail.

‎At today’s resumed hearing, Umar held that the application was founded on “mere conjecture.”

According to Umar, he would not withdraw because there would be no one to sit in judgment over the trial.

He said, “The application to recuse myself has not been contemplated in the constitution. In the absence of a chairman, this trial cannot go on, therefore I cannot recuse myself. The chairman is the tribunal, without the chairman there is no tribunal.

“The application of the applicant is founded on mere conjecture. The application of the applicant is not well-founded, it is hereby dismissed.”

Saraki Loses Bid To Have CCT Chairman Disqualified

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, today lost the bid to make the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal disqualify himself from the trial.

The senate president had asked the tribunal through a motion that he would not get fair hearing under the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar.

In his ruling on the motion on Wednesday, the chairman said he would have done so but for the fact that his position is sanctioned by the constitution of Nigeria which set up the tribunal.

He cautioned that even if the President wants remove the Chairman or a member of the Tribunal, he must inform the National Assembly through a formal letter.

“The application of the defendant is not well founded and it is hereby refused”, he ruled.

Assets Declaration: CCT Convicts Orubebe, Ex-Minister Loses Abuja Property

The Code of Conduct Tribunal on Tuesday convicted a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, for failure to declare his property at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, in any of his asset declaration forms he completed as minister.

As punishment, the Danladi Umar-led tribunal in its judgment ordered that the property which the former minister failed to declare be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Umar, reading the judgment of the CCT, said, “The tribunal has been satisfied with the prosecution that up till now it is the name of the accused person that is with the Federal Capital Territory Land Registry as the owner of the property and not DW1/Divention Properties Limited.

“The tribunal hereby adjudges the accused person (Orubebe) guilty as charged and on that premise hands down the following punishment in accordance with section 23 of the Code of Conduct Bureau/Tribunal Act as incorporated under the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution as amended:

“The property known as Plot 2057 which belongs to the defendant is hereby seized and forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The tribunal does not have the power to sentence a person it convicts to prison.

It is the first time in the recent history of the tribunal that a top politically-exposed person would be convicted by the tribunal.

The tribunal rejected the ex-minister’s defence that he (Orubebe) acquired the property after he became minister and sold it to another company before he left office.

The Federal Government had on March 8, 2016, re-arraigned Orubebe on an amended charge of failure to declare his property at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, in his asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau as a minister between 2007 and 2011.

The offence was said to be contrary to section 15 of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) of the same Act.

The prosecution called an official of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, as its only witness to prove its case.

Madojemu had in his testimony, given details of how the CCB discovered the property allegedly owned by the ex-minister in Abuja but which the former minister was said to have failed to declare as his in his asset declaration forms.

He said Orubebe submitted five asset declaration forms to the CCB between 2007 and 2011, copies of the forms were admitted by the CCT as exhibits.

He added that the former minister failed to declare the plot of land as of the time of leaving office on May 29, 2011.

The witness said Orubebe ignored the CCB’s invitation to him to make statements during the investigation of the case.

The prosecution also tendered some documents, including the title documents of the property and Orubebe’s asset declaration forms submitted to the CCB.

Led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr. Selekowei Larry (SAN), the former minister testifying as the second defence witness (DW2), said the plot of land was allocated to him by the Federal Government as a minister, through the then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory in 2011.

But he said he sold the plot of land for N10m, which he said he used to settle his accumulated rent for two years between 2009 and 2011.

He explained that he did not declare it as his asset when he assumed office in 2007 because it had not been allocated to him then.

Orubebe also said he did not declare the plot of land as his asset in 2011 because he had sold it to his landlord before he made the last asset declaration while leaving office.

He said he never visited the plot of land because he sold it on the same date it was allocated to him to offset the N10m backlog of rent of two years.

Orubebe earlier called the owner of the company, Divention Properties Limited to which he claimed to have sold the property, Mr. Akinwunmi Ajibola, as the first defence witness, who also testified that he had bought the land from the former minister.

But in its judgment on Tuesday, the tribunal held that it found it absurd to believe that after six years of transfer of the ownership of the property, the new owner had yet to register the title documents with the Federal Capital Territory Land Registry as required under the Land Instrument Registration Law.

The tribunal chairman ruled that the prosecution had been able to establish its case beyond reasonable doubt in line with the provisions of section 139 of the Evidence Act, 2011.

Saraki In Fresh Move Against CCB Trial

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has initiated a fresh move aimed at neutralising his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
This time, he has filed a new suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking among others, to restrain CCT and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) (who are listed as respondents) from proceeding with his trial.
The suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/117/2016 was filed by one Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, who claimed to be “suing as attorney to Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki”).
The new suit, a fundamental rights enforcement application, is one of the various attempts by the Senate President to stop his trial before the CCT for alleged corruption and false assets declaration.
Saraki had challenged his trial up to the Supreme Court and lost. He has also lost past fundamental rights enforcement applications, the last being the one dismissed on April 15, 2016 by Justice Adamu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In the new suit, the applicant seeks the court’s declaration that “the plan to resume the trial of Senator Abubakar Saraki at the CCT is a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing as guaranteed by Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He also seeks an order compelling the CCT and AGF to suspend indefinitely, any plan to resume the trial at the CCT.
Among the grounds relied on by the applicant, include that the trial at CCT was commenced at the wrong time; four years after Saraki allegedly committed the offences.
“Having regard to the aims and objectives of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and its functions in sections 2 and 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCBT) Act, Senator Saraki ought to have been prosecuted by the respondents long before he returned to public life again in 2015 as an elected Senator.
“Indeed, the CCBT Act never contemplated that an incumbent public office holder was already corrupt before he attained public office, otherwise, people like Senator Sraki, who had a case to answer regarding his activities between 2003 and 2011 would not have been permitted to return to public life.
“However, four years later in 2015 4enator Saraki not only returned to public life as a Senator, he went on to become the President of the Senate, Chairman of the National Assembly and Nigeria’s number three citizen.
“It is nobody’s fault that the 1st and 2nd respondents were not vigilant enough to stop or prevent Senator Sarki from attaining public office. If truly the respondents were proactive institutions of government, they ought to have prosecuted Senator Sarki immediately after he left office as Governor of Kwara State in 2011, but they never did.
“The failure, refusal and/or negligence of the respondents to prosecute Senator Saraki for the offences he allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 before he returned again to public life as a Senator, vitiated all his past alleged misdeeds such that, as of June 8, 2015 when he was inaugurated as a Senator, he was assumed to be a public office holder without blemish in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of the respondents, otherwise they would have long since initiated proceedings against him.
“The subsequent attempt to put Senator Saraki on trial over offences allegedly committed between 2003 and 2011 are not only tainted with political mischief and desperation, they constitute a breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing,” Okponipere said.
However, the AGF, in a notice of preliminary objection, has faulted the suit and urged the court to dismiss it for lacking in merit.
The AGF noted that the subject matter of the suit did not fall within the provisions of chapter four of the Constitution, containing the guaranteed fundamental human rights.
“The appellant lacks the locus to institute this suit on behalf of Senator Saraki in the absence of any legal basis which prevents him (Saraki) from deposing to the affidavit accompanying this application himself.
“The grant of the applicant’s reliefs will constitute an abuse of court/judicial process having regard to the fact that the subject matter of this suit has been determined by the Supreme Court,” the AGF said.
When the case up for mention on September 29 before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, neither Okponipere nor his lawyer was in court, following which the judge adjourned it to November 16 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the CCT will tomorrow deliver ruling on an application by Saraki seeking that the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar withdraws from his trial on the grounds that Umar made some remarks in the course of the trial, which Saraki considered prejudicial to his case.
Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) – a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) – had in an application filed on June 13, 2016, accused Umar of making remarks that purportedly betrayed his bias against his client during the June 7, 2016 proceedings.
Umar had, while expressing his displeasure at the delay tactics employed by Saraki’s legal team (comprising over 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria) warned that the delay strategy would not “reduce the consequences the defendant will meet in this tribunal at the end of the trial.”
At the hearing of the application on June 21, Saraki’s lawyer argued that by his statement, the tribunal Chairman had already concluded that his client would be guilty and thereby exposed to “consequences.”
In a counter argument, prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) faulted Saraki’s lawyers’ interpretation of the tribunal Chairman’s remarks.
“That I am aware that the Chairman of this honourable tribunal on the said June 7, 2016 stated clearly that his mind is open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties.
“The statement allegedly made by the Chairman of the honourable tribunal was quoted out of context without referring to the statement made by the Chairman to the effect that his mind was open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties,” Jacobs said.

Appeal Court To Hear Saraki’s Fresh Appeal, May 31st

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has fixed May 31 for the hearing of a fresh appeal by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to try him on charges of false asset declaration.

A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, chose the date Monday to accommodate a request by Saraki’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN) for a 14-day adjournment to enable him study the response filed on behalf of the respondents, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

When the case was called Monday, Agabi told the court that he was just served with the respondents’ cross appellant’s reply brief and would require time to look at it.

Respondents’ lawyer, Henry Ejiga, who apologised for the absence of his principal, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) did not object to Agabi’s application for a 14-day adjournment, following which the court adjourned to May 31 for the hearing of both the appeal and cross-appeal.

Saraki is, in his appeal, challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him based on a charge initiated by the office of the AGF. It is his contention that it is only the CCB that is empowered to prosecute cases before the CCT.

CCB and AGF crossed appeal and argued that the motion, on which the CCT ruled, which formed the basis of the appeal by Saraki was an abuse of court process.

They contend among others, that the issue of jurisdiction, having been resolved by the Supreme Court in an earlier appeal by Saraki, ought not to be raised again.

It argued that the apex court, having held in a judgement of February 6, that the CCT was with the jurisdiction to try Saraki, the CCT ought not to entertain another motion filed by Kanu Agabi (SAN) for Saraki, challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Saraki’s trial before the CCT resumes today with his team of lawyers expected to resume their cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Michael Wetkas.

On May 11 when proceedings were last held, Wetkas said his investigation team relied on information provided by the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Alienation of Federal Government Properties in reaching the conclusion that Saraki made anticipated asset declaration.

Wetkas said the presidential committee informed his team that it did not have on its record, 15 A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, as declared by Saraki in his 2003 asset declaration form.

He said contrary to Saraki’s claim, the committee identified the property it sold as No.15, and Block 15, Flat 1 to 4, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Wetkas noted that, Saraki, on assuming office as Kwara State governor in 2003, declared that he acquired 15A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in 2000, whereas, the presidential committee wrote to his investigative team that it sold 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos to Saraki through his company, Tiny Tee Limited, in 2006.

“The only authority that we could refer to was the presidential committee or the Lagos State Land Registry or the Presidential Implementation Committee. The other letters referred to by them (Saraki’s lawyers) were by private individuals.

“We relied on the document from the Presidential Implementation Committee which said they only had 15, Mcdonald Road and Block 15, Flat 1 to 4, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, which was occupied by another lessee.

“We relied on the numbering of the properties by the presidential implementation committee and they stated that 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi was sold to Tiny-Tee. That was the strength of our conclusion,” the witness said.

Wetkas said he did not physically inspect the property at 15, 15A and B, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, but ylthat other members of his investigative team did, and that they are in a better position to tell th tribunal what they found.

On why he did not personally visit Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, Wetkas said he needed not to because the letter from the Presidential Implementation Committee to his team had clarified issues on the existence o otherwise o th property.

“There was no need for me to ask the implementation committee to take me to the properties. The letter clarified that there were only two properties as 15 and Block 15, Flats 1 to 4,” the witness said.

Wetkas confirmed that the asset at 15, Mcdonald Road, Ikoyi, was at various times offered to a company, Energy Marine Resources and occupant of the house, Mr. Virtus Nwosu.

The witness also confirmed that it was eventually sold to Saraki’s company.

Saraki’s Trial Will End At Supreme Court – Dino Melaye

Flamboyant Senator, Otunba Dino Melaye, on Saturday in Abuja opened a new chapter in the trial of the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false declarations of his assets.

Melaye said it was certain the issue would end at the Supreme Court.

According to him, the committees in the National Assembly would keep close watch on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and ensure proper implementation of the 2016 budget, which has been signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Melaye is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory and represents Kogi West Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

He was also the founder of a group: “Like-minded Senators,” which worked for the emergence of Saraki as Senate president.

Speaking on Saturday after the conferment of an award on him by the Rotary Club of Ilorin GRA, Kwara State, led by a former Military Administrator of Bauchi and Osun States, retired Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye, for his commitment to nation building, Melaye said: “Our support for the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is total and undiluted.

“Our commitment to his getting justice is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.

“One thing I want to assure Nigerians is that the trial of Saraki will not end in the CCT, but in the Supreme Court and we are with the Senate president until we get to the last bus stop.

“We are with him up till Supreme Court.”

Melaye expressed excitement that after the controversies surrounding the 2016 budget, it has been signed by the President.

He said: “What is more important is not the signing of the budget but its implementation.

“But we look forward to making sure that the National Assembly with all sincerity of purpose carries out monitoring of the MDAs to make sure that this budget is properly implemented.

“May we never see a situation where only 30 per cent of capital projects is implemented.