Indications emerge at the weekend that the Federal Government (FG) might soon amend the charge of false asset declaration preferred against the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
If the plan is indeed actualised, the Federal Government would have amended the charge against Saraki three times since his trial began.
The fresh move is claimed to be in apparent reaction to the performance of the third prosecution witness from the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Samuel Madojemo.
It would be recalled that when the trial commenced in 2015, the prosecution slammed a 13-count charge against Dr. Saraki, only to increase them to 16, midway into the trial, when it was observed that the prosecution was losing steam and the charge was becoming unsubstantiated.
The charges were again amended from 16 to 18 in February 2016.
Sources conversant with operations in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the CCB told reporters, at the weekend, that following confirmation by Head of Investigation of CCB, Samuel Madojemo that the Senate President actually declared his assets, including that of his wife and children, the FG is considering amending the charges before the next sitting of CCT on April 5.
The witness had admitted that Saraki’s assets were recorded in the Assets Forms he submitted to CCB at various times.
Led in the cross-examination by Saraki’s counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN), Madojemu was made to read out the list of assets declared by Saraki in his name, those of his wife and his children, when he held office as Kwara State governor and upon his assumption of office as a senator.
In his responses the witness disclosed that the investigation, which led to the arraignment of Saraki in 2015, was actually carried out by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He noted that his role and those of CCB were limited to the review of the EFCC’s report and comparing them with the defendant’s Assets Declaration Form.
Madojemu said he was invited orally to join a team that reviewed the EFCC report and compared the asset form of Saraki, pointing out that CCB has no written report on the outcome of the revision of the EFCC work.
It was gathered that the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, officials of the CCB and Office of the Attorney of the Federation were not happy with the trend of the case after reviewing the performance of Mr. Madojemu, hence the need to further amend the charges against Saraki to tighten loose ends being noticed in the current charges against him