ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The registered trustees of the Mission for Peace and Development Initiative have filed a suit at the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja, seeking an order for the removal of Justice Danlami Umar as chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on account of corruption allegations.
The group, in an Originating Summons filed on its behalf by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), wants the court to order Justice Umar to hands off the trial of any Nigerian, having confessed to corruption and admitted meeting with an accused person standing trial before him, in the absence of the prosecution and court officials.
Also joined as defendants along with Justice Umar in the suit filed at the weekend, are the CCT, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The plaintiffs want the court to order the Tribunal to halt further sittings or proceedings against accused persons brought before it, or currently standing trial before it until it is reconstituted to exclude its present chairman.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
Also, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) is praying the court for an order directing the EFCC to start prosecuting Justice Umar, having investigated him and found him culpable of the offences of conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office and money laundering, which the commission had actually prepared a charge, but failed, refused to file same till date for inexplicable reasons.
The plaintiffs also want an order that the AGF should cease from further regarding or according recognition to Justice Umar as the rightful chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
In addition, a nine-paragraph affidavit in support of the Originating Summons deposed to by one human rights activist and anti-corruption campaigner, Mr. Ogah Columba, averred that in spite of the corruption cases hanging on the neck of Justice Umar, he could still sit, morally and legally to try any Nigerian citizen for any case of corruption,
“That in consonance with the anti-corruption stance of the present government, we decided to dig into the ugly, murky cases of corruption against the 1st Respondent (Justice Umar) and we are shocked at a grand cover up by powers-that-be who refused to prosecute him for receiving, N1.8 million bribe out of N10 million he demanded from an accused he was trying in his Tribunal, not withstanding the clear instructions of the then AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) that he should be prosecuted”, the affidavit stated.
It further averred that EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, on June 24, 2014 wrote to the AGF, where he concluded that there was sufficient evidence, even if circumstantial, that Umar collected money from an accused person, Rasheed A. Taiwo through his P. A, Mr Abdullahi, and that there was an attempt to cover up judicial corruption.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the matter.
The CCT is currently trying the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki over false declaration of assets.