The acquittal of Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false declaration of assets, has thrown the Presidency into a dilemma.
Saraki, who was had been on trial for nearly two years beginning from September 2015, was discharged and acquitted last week by the CCT after he had entered a no case submission.
Following the Senate President’s discharge, the Presidency had hinted that the Federal Government was going to appeal the CCT decision.
Signs have emerged however, that the Presidency is developing cold feet over the proposed appeal. A source in the Presidency told this newspaper that the Presidency in a Catch 22 situation. Desirous of challenging the CCT ruling, the Federal Government is balking over the idea given the prospect of such appeal throwing up the Senator Bola Tinubu case, which is similar to the Saraki case.
Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, was discharged by the Tribunal for failure of the Code of Conduct Bureau to call his attention to the perceived errors in his declarations before referring the same to the CCT.
The Presidency’s foot-dragging, our source added, has been informed by advice given to it by senior lawyers that the Federal Government may be opening itself up to attacks by observers who may draw parallels between the two cases. They are said to have advised government to tread carefully lest it opens up a Pandora’s Box.
“Lawyers have advised government to seriously reflect on its decision to appeal the CCT ruling lest it implicates itself in a way that will embarrass government,” our source said.