SARAKI SAGA: I’ll Not Disqualify Myself – Tribunal Judge, Umar
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on Thursday dismissed the application of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki seeking the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar to disqualify himself from the ongoing trial.
Saraki who is standing trial before the tribunal for false asset declaration had through his lawyer, Rapheal Oluyede filed the motion seeking the disqualification of the tribunal Chairman due to corruption charges against him.
Oluyede had yesterday argued that the same Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, that investigated Umar of corruption to the tune of N10m is still the same institution prosecuting his client, Saraki, thereby creating a likelihood of bias.
But EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs urged the tribunal to dismiss the application, saying the motion was aimed at tarnishing the image of the tribunal Chairman.
Jacobs stressed that the anti-graft agency has already cleared Umar of corruption charges.
Umar had adjourned the matter till today for ruling on the application.
At the resumed hearing today, Umar said the application was that of jurisdiction, insisting that he reserved the powers to preside over the matter.
Umar stated that the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, has no powers to investigate a case, only security agencies.
“AGF has no power to investigate a case but can only prosecute after the security agencies have concluded their investigations,” Umar said.
He held that the letter of March 1, 2015 from the EFCC cleared him of all corruption charges.
Umar said the application is lacking in merit and is “hereby dismissed in its entirety.”
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