CCT Chairman to Saraki: If I disqualify myself, who will hear your case?

By Editor on 05/10/2016

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Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, has again thrown out the petition of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on the ground that disqualifying himself from hearing it would hit the death knell on the matter before the court.

He argued that he would not be the one to hand over a fait accompli on the matter, because the manner the tribunal was constituted under the constitution, no other person would hear the matter without the chairman presiding.

This is the second time Umar would be dismissing the attempt to get him disqualify himself from the case, which began in September last year, where Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of false declaration of assets, while governor of Kwara State.

The first attempt canvassed by Joseph Daudu, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had been over the alleged corruption allegation against the judge, where he was said to have demanded and collected N10million from a suspect to kill the case against him.


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In the fresh one Kanu Agabi, who is now the lead lawyer to the Senate President, had launched another effort, citing a statement made by Umar that Saraki was afraid of “final consequences,” and that "he must face the full consequences of the law," hence he was stalling the trial as a case of bias against the tribunal, which he interpreted to mean that the judge was already certain of how the matter would end and was simply working to a pre-determined answer.

But, this, like the first attempt, also came crashing when Umar, who said he would ordinarily have acceded to the request, held that doing so would deal a fatal blow to the entire case as there would be no one to hear it.

“I would have disqualified myself but for the constraints placed on the Chairman by the Constitution of Nigeria that established the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The application to recuse the Chairman has not been contemplated at the conception of the Constitution,” he said. 

Emphasising the constitutional constraints that made Saraki’s prayers impossible to grant, he argued that even for the President to remove the Chairman or a member of the Tribunal, there must a written address from the president to the national assembly and a two-third consent from both chambers of the legislative. 

Besides, he sees Saraki’s allegation as based on mere conjecture of the media, adding: “The application to recuse myself has not been contemplated in the constitution. In the absence of a chairman, this trial cannot go on, therefore I cannot recuse myself. The chairman is the tribunal, without the chairman there is no tribunal. The application of the applicant is founded on mere conjecture. The application of the applicant is not well-founded. It is hereby dismissed.”





Posted on October, 5 2016

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