The trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on charges of alleged false declaration of assets continued today at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Saraki is facing a 13 count charge of corruption and alleged false declaration of asset while he was governor of Kwara state between 2003 and 2007, preferred against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
At the resumed hearing today, counsel to the senate president, Ajibola Oluyede filed an application requesting that the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, disqualify himself from the trial.
He based his argument on the fact that the Tribunal Chairman still has a serious corruption case against him with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Recall that Umar had initially declined to entertain the motion, but prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, urged him to admit the application so that it can be argued.
Oluyede cited an investigation report by the EFCC dated 24th June 2014, where the CCT boss and his erstwhile Personal Assistant, Gambo Abdullahi, are listed as suspects.
Paragraph 2 of the report, states that “Justice Umar made direct demand for the sum of N10 million to quash the charges against [the complainant], sometime in 2012. He disclosed that he was compelled to pay the sum of N1.8milion after persistent inundation with phone calls from Justice Umar.”
Oluyede also cited paragraph 4 of the report, that stated that “Available circumstantial evidence suggest that the Tribunal Chairman might have indeed demanded and collected money from the complainant through his Personal Assistant.”
The case was adjourned till tomorrow, Thursday.
Meanwhile, Umar has ordered that all security personnel attached to the senate president or any other top politician should henceforth stay out of the court room when the trial commences.
He also banned the use of electronic devices by individuals in the court saying it was unlawful and misleading to the public on what truly transpires in courtroom.