Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been discharged and acquitted by the Code Conduct Tribunal, CCT, over the false assets declaration charges leveled against him, but the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL said it “finds very disturbing as it smacks of compromise on the side of the Federal government”.
“We view the judgment as a political one achieved by the so-called anticorruption-focused APC-led Federal government for the purpose of settling its intra-party wrangling and discontent,” CACOL said.
The organization added: “The ruling is a big indictment on the government’s anti-corruption drive given that Saraki’s case had been of the most prominent and most vigorously pursued one out of the several corruption cases being prosecuted by the FG.
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“We had suspected all along that Saraki’s corruption cases were probably going to be sacrificed on the altar of political necessity given the unnecessary maneuvers and intrigues that has characterized the trail right from the outset.
“It also validates the fact the present government is corruption-compliant holistically; a situation where the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary arms are disappointing deeply involved with the exception of President Mohummadu Buhari, whose commitment to anti-corruption has for long been beyond reasonable doubts.
“It is again a validation of the fact that it is easier for a ‘camel to pass through the eye of a needle’ than for system predicated on corruption to cleanse itself of the malady.
“The Judiciary that is supposed to be the last hope of masses is the most disappointing given the speed with which it has been discharging and acquitting suspected corruption criminals particularly its members and others. At this rate, it appears no publicly exposed persons will ever get convicted regardless of the incriminating charges against them as long they hire high profile lawyers, who will in turn help in navigating through the turf of judicial trails using the lacunae in the justice system to evade justice.
“The presence of black sheep in the judiciary will continue to render useless all plans and energy vested into flushing the Nation of corruption; justice can never prevail when the Lawyers who are to defend justice and judges who are to pronounce justice are wearing garments of corruption. Nigerians have witnessed several cases of corruption “where culprits exploit corrupt tendencies in the Judiciary system to facilitate their escape of justice or to get the ‘slap in the wrist’ kind of judgment.
“Like we have always said, this development is another indication that it is only the people, the victims of corruption organized in the various social formations that must own the anti-corruption drive in order to be able to prosecute a victorious war against graft. Thus, Nigerians must rise to the occasion by taking their destiny in their hands to rout corruption and salvage Nigeria.”