SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday filed a fresh application and insisted that the Chairman of the Code of conduct Tribunal (CCT) , Danladi Umar lacked the moral rectitude to preside over his trial.
In asking the Tribunal Chairman to disqualify himself from his case of alleged false declaration of assets, Saraki said he will not get justice based on the cloudy relationship between Umar and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Counsel to the Senate president, Chief Ajibola Oluyede, insisted that the CCT chairman was under investigation by the EFCC, the same agency that allegedly filed the criminal charges against Saraki. He queried what he described as the purported clearance issued to Umar by the EFCC in relation to his alleged involvement N10 million corruption case.
Meanwhile, Umar again threatened to throw out Oluyede for being unruly.
Oluyede was making a submission in a “confrontational and untamed manner”, 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 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 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, counsel to the Federal Government, said the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and not the EFCC was prosecuting Saraki for alleged false declaration of assets.
In another development, the case instituted against Senate President and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, challenging their election as principal officers of the Senate has again being adjourned to June1.
The Federal High Court hearing the case in Abuja was forced to adjourn following the absence of four out of the six defendants in the matter.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Justice Stephen Chukwu adjourned the case following information that the four defendants were not served with hearing notice by the court bailiff.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Mamman Osuman told Chukwu that counsel to Ekweremadu, Mr Patrick Ikweto, could not be located for the notice to be served on him.
Osuman further told the court that findings by his legal team and from the court bailiff indicated that Ikweto had relocated from his chambers in Wuse to an unknown destination.
He said that although the court required counsel relocating office to notify courts where he had cases, Ikweto had not done so.
Mamman, however, claimed that Ikweto might have been unable to inform the court due to an oversight.
He appealed to the judge for an adjournment to enable the defendants be served with fresh hearing notices.
The judge subsequently adjourned the matter to June 1 and ordered that fresh hearing notices be served on all parties.