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Saraki Senate President insists CCT chairman must withdraw from case

Saraki’s legal team argued that they are not sure they will get a fair hearing at the tribunal if Justice Umar presides over the case.

  • Published:
Bukola Saraki play

Bukola Saraki

(vanguard)

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki's lawyers insist that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) chairman, Justice Danladi Umar has no moral standing to preside over his trial.

Saraki’s legal team argued that they are not sure they will get a fair hearing at the tribunal if Justice Umar presides over the case.

Saraki’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede presented an application before the tribunal, calling for the withdrawal of the CCT chairman from the Senate President’s trial.

Oluyede based his argument on the fact that the CCT chairman is currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Danladi was accused of allegedly receiving N10m from a former Nigerian Customs officer, Rasheed Taiwo.

Oluyede also argued that the move by the EFCC to clear Justice Umar of any misdeed, is further proof that he is biased.

He said “Your lordship should not be sitting on this case because of the negative impression it would give to reasonable onlookers."

Adding that “All these problems originated from the EFCC. How could EFCC write and say that they have circumstantial evidence against a judge on the bench?

“Why is EFCC holding a sword of Damocles over your lordship’s head? Why can’t they just write the attorney-general that they have exonerated you?”

Oluyede also tendered a letter written by the former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde on the CCT chairman’s bribery investigation.

In the letter, Lamorde reportedly said "There are indications that the tribunal chairman might have demanded and collected money from the complainant through his said personal assistant.

“However, efforts made to recover the telephone handset used by Justice Umar proved abortive, as he claimed that he had lost the telephone in 2012.

“This has made it impossible to subject it to independent scientific analysis with a view to corroborating the allegation. In the same vein, the complainant could also not make available his telephone set for analysis on the grounds that he had lost it.

READ: Stop backlashing CCT Chairman, EFCC cautions Saraki

“Justice Umar also admitted that he met privately with the complainant in his chamber at the tribunal. This is a most unethical and highly suspicious conduct on his part.”

The  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has however denied issuing a letter  clearing the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) chairman, Justice Danladi Umar.

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