CCT Chairman Dismisses Saraki’s Motion To Disqualify Self, Continues With Trial

Bukola Saraki-Danladi UmarThe Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar yesterday ruled out and “dismissed in its entirety” the motion filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki asking the chairman to disqualify himself from the ongoing trial.
The Chairman made this ruling based on the fact that since the letter from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to the Attorney General of the Federation dated 5th March, 2015 overrides that of 24/06/2014, the issue of whether he (Umar) has a case to answer with EFCC is baseless.
“CCT comes to conclusion whereby the applicant is seen as challenging the competence of the Chairman of the Tribunal. This bothers on jurisdiction”, Justice Umar said.
He, therefore, ruled that “CCT holds that the petition of the defendant lacks merit and it’s hereby dismissed in its entirety”.
Earlier, the Chairman submitted that the question to ask is if the Attorney General of the Federation has the power to investigate.
“The answer to this is no!” he said.
He further stated that the AGF does not have Constitutional right to investigate but only investigative bodies like EFCC, ICPC and others that can investigate.
“The power of the AGF is absolute in his discretion of who to prosecute, how to prosecute and when to prosecute”.
The Tribunal chairman said the EFCC is an autonomous body and not answerable to the AGF in carrying out its duty of investigation.
“It is on the basis of the fact there was no evidence from the petitioner that the EFCC believes there is no sufficient evidence to prosecute Justice Umar”, he said.
He added that the assumption that it is only the AGF that can exonerate is misconceived, pointing out that EFCC has the power to exonerate the person they are investigating if they cannot find enough evidence to continue with the prosecution.
In his immediate reaction, Saraki’s counsel, Ajibola Oluyede, said he is currently lost for words and “wishes the Tribunal all the best”.

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