A comment by a presidency official, Okoi Obono-Obla, on the acquittal by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, of Senator Bukola Saraki, president of Senate, appears to give an insight into the thinking of the government on the issue. Saraki was acquitted for false assets declaration by the tribunal led by Danladi Umar.
Obono-Obla, the special assistant to the president on prosecutions, says the federal government will appeal Senator Saraki’s acquittal and other earlier judgements exonerating those indicted for corruption.
Obono-Obla argued that the panel “misapplied” the law in the ruling.
“Definitely we are going to appeal against the ruling in Saraki’ s case,” he was quoted as saying.
“One of our grounds of appeal is that the tribunal misapplied the law. For instance, the standard of proof that the tribunal used is not applicable to charges of false declaration of asset.
“It (charge of false asset declaration) is a strict liability offence, so you cannot apply the standard of proof that is applied in the regular criminal proceedings.
“Surely we will file the appeal next (this) week Wednesday.”
He said the government was determined to “clean up Nigeria” and will “fight this war to the end”.
“We must otherwise the nation is doomed. We have gone back to the drawing board to change our tactics and strategies,” he added.
“Anybody who thinks he can get away with an act of corruption is dreaming. We are going to file an appeal against all the nonsensical rulings that we have got from our court in recent times.”