The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) will on Thursday, April 28th, deliver its ruling on an application filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, seeking disqualification of CCT Chairman Justice Umar Danladi from presiding over his trial.
The tribunal fixed ruling for April 28, after listening to the submissions of counsel.
Saraki had accused the chairman of the tribunal of bias and insisted that he cannot get justice under his chairmanship.
Counsel to Saraki, Raphael Oluyede, told the tribunal that the continued presence of Danladi on the panel offended the provisions of Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Oluyede claimed that since the EFCC is largely responsible for the trial and investigation of the N10 million bribery allegations against the chairman, there is no way the chairman will be objective and impartial in the case.
He asked the chairman to disqualify himself from further entertaining the matter. In his argument, the prosecuting counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), prayed the tribunal to dismissed the motion for lacking in merit.
Jacobs said that the argument of Saraki’s lawyer defy the understanding of legal minds. He said EFCC investigation remains an investigation, and the CCT chairman was investigated and cleared by the EFCC, he has not been charged before any court.
Jacobs, however, said that Saraki is under trial and he is still serving as Senate President and the defence lawyer was asking the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from trying Saraki.
He said it was a clear misconception of law to argue that because EFCC is investigating CCT chairman, then he should disqualify himself from the trial.
He said the EFCC had concluded investigation in the matter since March, 2015 and issued a clearance letter to the CCT on March 5, 2015.
“My lord, this application is meant to embarrassed your lordship as it was said at the Supreme Court, my lord, there is nothing in this application worthy of notes. This is not an EFCC case, it is the Attorney General of the Federation that gave me the fiat to prosecute the matter,” he said.
Jacobs urged the tribunal to take judicial notice of the series of harassment done it by the defence.
“My lord, no one should be above the law, attempt have been made to amend the CCB/CCT Act because of this trial. The prosecution is harassed, they went to different courts with the same motion, but never succeeded all in an attempt to frustrate this case,” he said.
He said the issues raised are based on sentiment and matters of sentiment have no place on law.
Jacobs said Oluyede has never appeared for Saraki at this tribunal as at the time he filed the motion.
“He is not a counsel on record as at the day he filed his motion and he predicated his case on wrong assumption that EFCC is a party before the tribunal.”