Supreme Court Verdict: I Have Been Vindicated- Saraki 

Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate is celebrating the Supreme Court which early Friday gave him a clean bill of health over the about three-year trial of wrongful declaration of assets. The Senate president in a statement personally signed by him stated that there were people who were intent on maligning his reputation for political reasons. Saraki who said he had always had confidence in the judiciary commended the verdict which affirmed the judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal which discharged and acquitted him of the 18 charges proffered against him by the authorities. 

He said, “At the end of a tortuous journey of 1018 Days, counting from September 22, 2015, when the case began at the Tribunal, I am happy that I have been vindicated. The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is no evidence of false declaration of assets. The court also observed that certain agents took over the responsibility of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in this trial, and one can infer that this was done towards a pre-determined end.”

Though happy that he had been cleared by a court of law of those charges, the Senate president expressed sadness that those behind the trial robbed the country of the needed united front to tackle matters affecting the generality of the people. He said, “As a result of the war of attrition, various arms of government have wasted resources needlessly. It has been three wasted years across board in this country. Three years that would have been devoted to tackling issues affecting Nigerians, including economic recovery, insecurity, youth unemployment and strengthening national institutions – were wasted on malicious prosecution. People were ready to trade-off three years that would have been devoted to fostering cooperation, unity and economic progress for their selfish ends.”

He thanked his colleagues at the National Assembly, who he said were unfairly criticised for supporting him and his family for the fortitude to bear the pain of the trial while it lasted. 

The Senate president lauds the support of his followers, but regrets that much as he was gladdened by the verdict, he did not think that the mood of the time calls for loud celebration. That is because he feels that  “our celebration must be tempered with the sobering lessons of the attempted injustice from Day One of this trial.  We all have to canvas for fairness in the fight against corruption. We should see this verdict as an inspiration to champion the rule of law, promote democracy and its institutions as well as tolerance of divergent views.” 

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