Stella Dimoko FG Withdraws Forgery Charges Against Saraki, Ekweremadu


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Friday, October 07, 2016

FG Withdraws Forgery Charges Against Saraki, Ekweremadu

The federal government on Thursday withdrew the charges of criminal conspiracy relating to the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015, filed against Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, at the Abuja High Court.

In doing so, the Ministry of Justice filed an application to amend the charges and attached the amended charges. In the new charges, only the former clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Salisu Maikasuwa, and a former deputy clerk, Mr. Ben Efeturi, were listed as the accused persons.

Saraki and Ekweremadu were charged alongside Maikasuwa and Efeturi for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Orders. All of them pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail. They were first arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu on June 10, 2016.

However, a litigation officer from the Ministry of Justice, Odudu Loveme, yesterday deposed to an affidavit, which was attached to the new charges.
Loveme averred that the prosecutor, Aliyu Umar (SAN), had on September 30, in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution told him that he had studied the case diary and “had decided to amend the charges in the manner stated on the face of the motion paper”.

He stated that he had consequently filed the amended charges. He said: “That I depose to this affidavit in good faith believing same to be correct to the best of my knowledge and information and in accordance with the Oaths Act Cap 01 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.”
On the face of the new charge, only Messrs Maikasuwa and Efeturi would now face prosecution.

Count one of the new charge reads: “Salisu Maikasuwa and Benedict Efeturi, on or about the 9th day of June 2015 at the National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, agreed to do an illegal act, to wit to make the Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended), without the authority of the 7th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which act was committed by yourselves and that you thereby committed the offence of criminal conspiracy.”

They were also accused of fraudulently amending the 2015 Senate Standing Orders without the authority of the 7th Senate “with the intention that the senators-elect of the 8th Senate would believe that the said Senate Standing Orders, 2015 (as amended), was made by the authority of the 7th Senate of the Federal republic of Nigeria”.

They were accused of forging a document punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Act (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, 1960, Cap 345, Laws of the Federation, 1990 (as amended).
The federal government also accused them of giving false information with the intention to mislead the public.
The court had on September 28 adjourned the matter to today, October 7 for commencement of hearing.

Justifying the amendment, Umar said that the sole issue for determination was “whether the court can permit the amendment of the charge in terms of the amended charge”.

According to him, the court has the powers to permit the amendment based on the provisions of Section 216(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
The section states that “a court may permit an alteration or an amendment to a charge or framing of a new charge at any time before judgment is pronounced”.
He also quoted Section 216(3), which states that “where a defendant is arraigned for trial on an imperfect or erroneous charge, the court may permit or direct the framing of a new charge, or any amendment to, or the alteration of the original charge”.

When the federal government charged Saraki and Ekweremadu for the alleged forgery, both of them had maintained their innocence, saying that it was politically motivated arising from their emergence as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
Their election did not sit well with the presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which had backed Senators Ahmed Lawal and George Akume to lead the Senate.

The decision to withdraw the charges against them may also not be unconnected to weakness of the federal government’s case against them.
It was reported two weeks ago that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was faced with the dilemma of amending the charges against Saraki and Ekweremadu, because the charges that had been filed in court were baseless and could not hold water.
Culled:  ThisDayLive


  1. Replies
    1. Better for them. So they'll stop wasting tax payers money.

  2. These people just keep embarassing themselves. Didnt he look at the case before going to court? Always playing to the gallery

  3. Political settlement

  4. Hahahaha Nigeria we hail thee. Buhari go to Senate and explain why recession is troubling Nigerians.

    Yeye people

  5. Just when this clueless aboki is about to be summoned by the Senate to explain what's happening to the economy the charges were dropped.. The fear of impeachment is the beginning of wisdom. This country is a joke. Democracy is a scam. Rule of law na format.

    1. This is the only good comment you have made on this blog...
      Keep it up!...

  6. Not surprised!!!!
    Naija politicians I raise hand for una.
    Me Buhari a.k.a change begins with me, hiiiiiiii!! We see the change. Yeye!!!

    God got me!!!

  7. I knew it.. I talk am *in Mr ibu's voice*

  8. Good to know

    #when u see something say something#

  9. Two of them are now dancing to their tone😫

  10. Whether they withdraw the case or not, Buhari should/MUST appear before the SENATE. He is not "Eze onye agwanam okwu."

  11. Welcome to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  12. Na wa ooo no rule of law again ooo bribery n corruption take over well as long as God is on the throne it shall be well

  13. Why now? So the charges were politically motivated all along

  14. Nija my country. the only country that release a movie in the market before contacting the actors

  15. Chai!
    Why now?
    I don't want to believe it's because this man was invited. ����������

  16. Hmmmmmm so he has finally realized that he needs them in this his change government

  17. Buhari go & answer d Senate & stp playing overnite obedient leader fear of impeachment is the beginning of change. Clueless 419ner president.


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