Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, yesterday, appeared at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for a fresh trial.
The trial borders on a three-count charge upheld by the appellate court after 15 out of the 18 amended charges had been struck out.
The defence counsel, Paul Usoro SAN, called out a witness, Dr Ademola Adebo to be cross-examined by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN.
During his testimony, Adebo told the court that he is a Commissioner in the Code of Conduct Bureau and had been involved in the signing of more than 300,000 asset declaration forms, and further tendered his detailed résumé as exhibit to substantiate his status as a reliable witness.
During the cross-examination, Jacobs urged the court to refuse admitting the witness’ resume in evidence, citing Section 1 of the Evidence Act which reads, “Evidence are accorded relevance if they can push the existence or non-existence of a fact or an issue,” as authority. He further cited an authority of the Supreme Court which say that “Once facts are not relevant, they cannot be admitted in evidence.”
During the cross examination, lead counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi SAN, walked into the court. He explained his reason for coming late and urged the court to consider the original charge, the amended charge and the further amended charge in the course of the trial. But to Agabi’s motion, Jacobs raised a strong objection, and insisted that the amended charge had been replaced with the further amended charge, and that the witness could not tender any evidence on the premise of the amended charge.
As the cross examination continued, the defendant counsel could not establish the connection between the two procedures through which the defendant purchased his landed properties at 17A and 17B, MacDonald, Ikoyi – Lagos, since one statement said he purchased the properties through proceeds from rice and sugar commodities and the other statement stated that he procured the said properties through a Guarantee Trust Bank loan.
At the conclusion of the matter, the Tribunal chairman, Justice Danladi Umar, seeing that the both parties needed more time to sort themselves out, adjourned the next hearing to February 27.
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