Senate President, Saraki again fails to stop CCT trial

Senate President Bukola Saraki has again failed to prevail on the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, to suspend further hearing on the charges against.

Saraki who is facing a 16-count charge before the tribunal also failed to disqualify the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, from hearing the case.

This is the second time that the Senate President would be making such requests on the tribunal.

Bukola Saraki's CCT trial
Bukola Saraki,  Nigeria’s Senate President

The two-member tribunal on Wednesday, dismissed the fresh application by a former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi, on behalf of Saraki.

In dismissing the application, the tribunal said it was an abuse of judicial process. Saraki, Justice Umar who read the ruling, said had earlier filed a similar application which was dismissed on April 28.

Saraki had in his fresh application, urged Justice Umar to hands-off his trial, accusing him of bias.

His lawyers contended that remarks the judge made in the open court clearly portrayed his prejudice against the defendant.

Saraki said he no longer have confidence in ability of the panel as presently constituted, to accord him fair hearing.

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In its ruling, the Justice Umar-led panel held that Saraki’s allegations were founded on “mere conjectures and alleged sensational statements that have not been verified”. It held that the defendant has enough avenues to ventilate his grievances against Justice Umar.

“It is not for the defendant to ask the Chairman to disqualify himself which is tantamount to terminating further hearing of the case.

“The CCT is the only court that is constitutionally empowered to hear the charge brought against the defendant.

“The Chairman is the tribunal, without the Chairman the tribunal will collapse.’’

“The Chairman can be disqualified but such action must be based on overwhelming evidence and not by mere conjecture or a frivolous application.’’

The accused persons must establish his allegation for his request to succeed.

“Allegation of bias is a very serious attack on integrity of a judge. For such allegation to succeed it must be supported by concrete evidence”‎, Justice Umar held.

Original Source from NAN

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