The Court on Friday (March 2, 2018) said that the CCT Chairman would have a likelihood of bias against Owolabi because of the petition and the interrogation by the EFCC.
The Justice Abdul Aboki-led panel of the Court of Appeal had on October 6 heard the appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT and reserved for judgment
The Senate had previously stepped down the consideration of the bill due to public outcry that followed the move.
The bill had already been amended by the House of Representatives and was sent to Senate for concurrence
Erokoro, while moving an application filed by Saraki, asked the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from further participating in the trial because of his biased disposition
Umar’s former Personal Assistant, Ali Gambo Abdullahi, said this while giving evidence in the trial-within-trial on the disputed statement he made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in respect of N10 million bribe allegedly demanded by his boss from Owolabi
Recall that during the military administration of General Muhammadu Buhari, Decree Number 2 gave the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters the power to detain for up to six months without trial anyone considered a security risk
Agabi had transmitted a letter to the presiding Judge, Justice Abdul Aboki, seeking an adjournment on account of his ill-health
Since the case was brought to light in late 2015, few weeks after Dr. Saraki’s emergence as President of the Senate, members of the Nigerian public have come to understand that the charges against Saraki, and the testimony of the chief witness have not been in sync.
He apologised to the court for making the justices to go through the voluminous processes he filed in respect of the appeal only for him to withdraw
The trial or is it persecution of Saraki has exposed the CCT to ridiculous mockery before the public. The extreme dramatization of processes and orders by the chairman, Danladi Umar, is akin to juvenile exuberance. This is so because, as many believe, the chairman of the tribunal is suspected to have been handed a script by the political hawks in our polity by which he must play and arrive at a predetermined end, and very quickly too
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), however, interjected and told the tribunal that Oluyede had tried to serve him the previous day but he refused to accept it and that even the lead counsel to Saraki, Kanu Agabi (SAN), was not aware of the application
In the motion on notice filed by Saraki’s lawyer, Raphael Oluyede, it was contended that the continued presence of Umar on the panel of the Tribunal offended the provisions of Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
But SERAP said in a statement on Wednesday: “The Senate does not have the power to summon any judge, including Justice Danladi Umar.
“If there is any credible allegation of corruption against Justice Umar, it ought to be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement agencies and that cannot be the Senate.
NAN reports that the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is currently being tried for alleged false declaration of assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal
It stated that the tribunal chairman, who travelled on Thursday, however, fixed April 20 as the new date for continuation of trial.
Orubebe was arraigned by the Federal Government on a one-count charge of false asset declaration, which he pleaded not guilty.
At the last sitting, the first prosecution witness, Samuel Madojemu, led in evidence by Mohammed Diri, said Orubebe did not declare Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja as minister between 2007 and 2011
At the resumed hearing of the case, the EFCC witness, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the money was lodged by different individuals
Saraki is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on a 13-count charge bordering on alleged corruption and false declaration of assets while he was the governor of Kwara State.
Agabi was earlier represented by Paul Usoro (SAN), who said the absence of the lead counsel was as a result of flight hitches.
Agabi came in after the tribunal had overruled the defence’s request for the adjournment of the trial
However, another SAN, Paul Usoro, and Mahmud Magaji (SAN) stood in for Agabi
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, fixed the date after dismissing a motion by Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him