Saraki takes plea as government amends charges again
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was yesterday re-arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on an 18-count further amended charge.
He however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After the new charge was read and accepted by the tribunal, trial resumed with the second prosecution witness admitting before the court that it is lawful for the Senate President to own shares in companies like any other public officers in the country as allowed by law.
The witness, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, stated that Saraki, as a former governor of Kwara State was not prevented by law to own shares in any company.
Under cross-examination by the defense counsel, Mr. Paul Erokoro (SAN, the witness, who is the Head of Investigation Unit, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), admitted that public officers are allowed to own shares in companies in addition to owning farms for agricultural purposes.
The witness further informed the tribunal that there was no law in the country forbidding public officers from having even majority or controlling shares in any company and that the Senate President has the right to own shares in any company that trades in rice and sugar commodities or any other materials.
Madojemu stated that he never asked the Senate president during investigation, whether he had shares in any company trading in rice and sugar.
The prosecution witness had earlier testified that Saraki, in one of his asset forms claimed to have acquired properties at No. 15a and 17a Macdonald Street Ikoyi, Lagos, from proceeds of rice and sugar commodities .
According to him, while public office holders are permitted to engage in farming only, while in office, he does not know any law permitting them to engage in trading in agricultural produce.
The trial has been adjourned till March 2.