- Says I can eject you again
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Danladi Umar has threatened to throw out Ajibola Oluyede (SAN), one of Senate President Bukola Saraki’s lawyers, for being unruly.
Oluyede was making a submission in a “confrontational and untamed manner” on his application, which seeks the disqualification of the judge from the trial, when Umar threatened to throw him out of the tribunal.
“I don’t want to repeat what I did to you last week. If you continue this way, I will do it again,” Umar said.
Last week, Umar had ordered security to throw out the senior lawyer for talking back at him.
Arguing the application, Oluyede had asked the CCT chairman to withdraw from the case on the grounds that he was being influenced by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Oluyede argued that Umar, who he said was being investigated by the anti-graft agency, could not act independently in the trial of his client.
“The reason why we are here is that the EFCC is prosecuting the defendant before tribunal. The EFCC is holding a sword of Damocles over the Honourable Justice Umar,” he said.
“The presence of Umar on the panel removes the guarantee that the tribunal will act independently or impartially. I urge the tribunal to grant the relief sought.”
But Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), counsel to the federal government, said that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and not the EFCC was prosecuting Saraki for alleged false declaration of assets.
“Your lordship is not under any trial. Your lordship has not been convicted. The defendant here is still performing his duty as senate president, and he is now saying that a judge who has not been charged should withdraw from trial,” Jacobs said.
“Assuming is the EFCC that filed this charge, is there any evidence of an ongoing investigation against the tribunal? Investigation has been concluded since March 2015.
“This application is only to harass and intimidate the tribunal. This is not an EFCC case.
“There is a series of harassment; they are harassing the tribunal and the prosecution. An attempt was made to amend the law setting up the tribunal just because an individual is on trial. And they even invited the chairman of the tribunal saying they are doing oversight function.”