The Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, to disqualify himself from Mr. Saraki’s ongoing trial.
Mr. Saraki is accused of making false declaration of assets, and is being tried at the tribunal.
One of Mr. Saraki’s counsel, Rapheal Olueyede, had on April 20 applied for the disqualification of Mr. Umar, accusing the judge of being biased and having a case of bribery against his name.
Mr. Oluyede was almost thrown out of the tribunal after the application led to a heated exchange between him and Justice Umar.
Mr. Umar described the application as utter rubbish and dismissed it immediately.
He however allowed Mr. Oluyede to make the same application on Wednesday and stated that the tribunal would rule on the application Thursday.
On Thursday, Mr. Umar held that the Attorney General’s office had the legal prerogative to institute a suit against anyone found to have a case of fraud.
He also held that it was within the powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate him.
Mr. Umar said since no case was found against him, his trial could not have been ordered by the Attorney General.
He therefore said it was a matter of undue intimidation on the part of the defence to have come up with its application.
“The tribunal holds that the application of counsel to the accused lacks merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Mr. Umar held.