The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) yesterday insisted that it discovered discrepancies in the asset declaration forms submitted by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
A senior official with CCB, Samuel Madojemu, who spoke yesterday, disclosed that investigation revealed that Saraki failed to declare some assets contrary to the requirement of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal (CCB/T) Act.
Madojemu, who is Head, Intelligence Unit of the CCB, spoke while testifying as the 3rd prosecution witness at the resumption of Saraki’s trial for false assets declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The witness also identified true copies of the asset declaration forms submitted to the CCB by Saraki. He confirmed them to be the same with the Certified True Copies (CTC) earlier tendered by the prosecution, which the defence claimed were fake.
Led in evidence by lead prosecution witness Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Madojemu said the Senate President declined to declare a property on 15 MacDonald Ikoyi in Lagos State, which he allegedly acquired with N300 million through Tiny-Tee, a company he also refused to declare at the end of his tenure as Kwara governor.
The witness, who came to the tribunal with the CTCs of Saraki’s assets declaration forms from 2003 to 2015, said he was part of the team that investigated Saraki.
He added that his team of investigators comprised intelligence officials from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and CCB.
Madujemu said: “One of the discrepancies we discovered has to do with false declaration and non-declaration of some assets and liabilities.
“MacDonald 15 was acquired at Ikoyi in Lagos in 2006, but it was not declared in the defendant’s end-of-tenure declaration form as governor,” the witness said.
At that point, lead defence lawyer, Kanu Agabi protested the continuation of trial on the existing 16-count charge when the prosecution had already filed an amended one of 18 counts.
He sought for an adjournment to enable the deefence study the new charge, a request Jacobs objected to, insisting that Saraki be made to plead to the new charge immediately to prevent a delay in proceedings.
Ruling, Tribunal Chairman Danladi Umar held in favour of the defence. He agreed with Agabi that the defence required time to study the new charge and prepare its defence.
He adjourned to February 23 for Saraki’s re-arraignment and continuation of trial.
The latest amendment to the charge against Saraki makes it the third time the prosecution would be effecting amendment to its charge since the case began in 2015. At inception, the charge had 13 counts, it was raised to16 counts, and now 18.