There was mild drama at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday, as the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, refused to hear the motion filed by counsel of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on his (Umar) alleged bias.
Umar dismissed the application asking him to disqualify himself from the case. “That motion as far as the tribunal is concerned is of no consequence; not worthy to be entertained and is hereby thrown away,” said Mr. Umar. Mr. Raphael Oluyede, Saraki’s lawyer, brought to the attention of the court, a motion filed on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016, seeking the CCT boss to disqualify himself from participating in the trial based on bias.
The motion contended that the continued presence of Umar on the panel of Tribunal offended the provisions of Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which prescribes that “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality”.
However, when Oluyede attempted to bring up the motion, Justice Umar repeatedly yelled at him to “Sit down.” After Oluyede demanded to be heard, Umar, upset by the revelations, called for police officers to throw out the counsel to the Senate President. However, Oluyede sat down on arrival of the police officers and maintained that he would not be intimidated However, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, intervened and pleaded with Mr. Danladi to calm the situation.