Saraki’s Trial: Legislator tasks EFCC on thorough investigation of corruption cases
A member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Babajimi Benson (Lagos-APC), has urged anti-graft agencies in the country to apply more diligence in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, Benson said that there was need for anti-corruption agencies to be meticulous to avoid waste of public funds.
The call stemmed from the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to establish a case against President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, over alleged false declaration of assets.
The lawmaker condemned media trials against accused persons, and advised the EFCC to always prepare its witnesses before proceeding on any prosecution.
“People should not be tried on the pages of newspaper; a case is as good as its preparation.
“You need to prepare, you need to speak to lawyers and you need to tutor your witnesses appropriately so that when they speak or are cross examined in the dock, their statements should be good enough to cause a conviction,’’ he said.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Saraki in the 18-count charge of false declaration of assets brought against him by the Federal Government in September, 2015.
The tribunal held that the evidence brought against Saraki lacked verifiable value and was unreliable to hold the charges against the defendant.
In his ruling, Chairman of the tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, said that the prosecution, at the close of the case, failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.
Umar said that the four witnesses called by the prosecution gave contradictory evidence that were manifestly unreliable to convict the defendant or order him to enter his defence.