An anti-graft group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has described, as a product of political expediency, the acquittal of Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki, of false assets declaration charges by the the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). In a statement signed by Mr. Wale Salami, its media coordinator, the group said Mr. Saraki's discharge and acquittal are very disturbing and a sign of compromise by the federal government.
"We view the judgment as a political one achieved by the so-called anti-corruption-focused APC-led federal government for the purpose of settling its intra-party wrangling and discontent. 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 Federal Government," said CACOL.
The group said it had, for long, suspected that Mr. Saraki’s corruption cases were going to be sacrificed on the altar of political necessity because of the manoeuvers and intrigues that characterized it right from the start.
It added that the case also validates the view that the government is corruption-compliant, saying only President Muhammadu Buhari's reputation is beyond reasonable doubt.
CACOL branded the judiciary as a disappointment, accusing it of routinely discharging and acquitting people accused of corruption, particularly its members.
"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 trials 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," it said.
It added that only the victims of corruption can organize a robust fight against graft and prosecute a successful war against graft. CACOL called on to join in the fight to rout corruption and save the country.