Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar on Wednesday, said he’s been cleared by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, of the bribery allegations levelled against him by a group called Anti-Corruption Network.
Umar, who’s presiding over the trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has been asked to withdraw from the proceedings on the basis that he has a case to answer.
Saraki is being prosecuted on a 13 count charge of false asset declaration, which he allegedly made while being Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.
As the trial resumed on Wednesday, Saraki’s lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, yet again, argued the Senate President’s motion asking the tribunal chairman to disqualify himself from further presiding over the trial.
Oluyede said there’s a possibility of bias in Umar’s handling of the trial because he’s under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for bribery.
Umar, however, stressed that he’s been cleared of the allegations of bribery.
He said: “A group called Anti-Corruption Network wrote a petition against me at the House of Representatives. The House committee invited me and I went there three times but the petitioner did not come. I told the committee that what I think should be done and I said if it were to be court, when the person who filed a case refuse to come, the court will strike it out. But the chairman said, let’s give them another time.”
“Why did he not strike it out and decided to continue to wait for the petitioner?”
“I went there just because of the respect I have for the institution. I am a law abiding citizen, that is why I went there three times abandoning all my works here.”
“They invited the AGF. The AGF went with a copy of the letter of the EFCC and he said by virtue of that letter, nobody could compel him to prosecute me on the basis of that the letter stated that the allegation was based on mere suspicion.”
“On the basis of that, he said he will not prosecute me. As the chief law officer, he decides who to prosecute and to stop to prosecute anybody.”