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AGF orders appeal against Saraki’s acquittal as row deepens in PCAC



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After members of the Presidential Adviser on Anti-Corruption tackled AGF Abubakar Malami for mishandling the trial of Sen. President Bukola Saraki whom the Code of Conduct acquitted last week, the attorney-general has ordered an appeal against the judgement.
Profs Itse Sagay, PCAC’s chair, and Femi Odekunle, also a member, blasted the presidency after the Code of Conduct Chair Danladi Umar dismissed the false asset declaration against Saraki.
But Malami, through his media aide, respondedWednesday that he was disappointed in the duo whi should have known him better.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation is saddened and flummoxed at the attempt to cast aspersion on his integrity, dedication and commitment to the war against corruption which undoubtedly is one of the major cornerstones of the present administration,” a statement from the AGF office said.
It explained how the justice minister initiated the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, 2017, a five-year strategy plan to combat corruption and corrupt tendencies in the country to the barest minimum.
“It is the first of its plan in the history of the country.”
The effectiveness of the strategy is, however, in doubt. The federal government has lost a string of high-profile cases at differnet leveli in the last few weeks, including that of ex-Head of Service Steve Oronsaye, former First Lady Patience Jonathan, and others.
But Malami said these are temporary setbacks.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has directed that a Notice of Appeal be lodged against the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal acquitting and discharging false assets declaration case preferred against the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki,” said the press release.
He added that a legal process is deemed not concluded until it terminates at the Supreme Court which is the highest court of arbitration in Nigeria.
Saraki is, however, not new to the Supreme Court.
In the course of his trial at the CCT, Saraki sought disqualification of the CCT chair and jurisdiction issue from high court through the appeal court to the apex court.
And in each of his legal trip, the Supreme Court asked him to go back to face trial at the CCT.