ALERT: The fraudulent “Judge” who is after Saraki, uncovered

By Post Nigeria September 19, 2015 12:18

ALERT: The fraudulent “Judge” who is after Saraki, uncovered

The last two days in Nigerian politics, have seen the very quick escalation of the alleged cases of corruption leveled against Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The move is being championed by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, who prefers to be fraudulently referred to as “Justice”, a move that has long irked the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the Judicial Council of Nigeria.

Umar is on administrative bail from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which arraigned him on cases of corruption, bordering on receiving bribes from suspects, highhandedness towards his staff, and gross nepotism.

The Cases with EFCC

Bribery

The EFCC, on Monday, July 6, 2015 arraigned a certain Ali Gambo Abdullahi, a staff of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Abuja, and personal assistant to the Chairman, before Justice C. N Orji of the FCT High Court sitting in Apo, on a 2-count charge bordering on conspiracy, bribery and abuse of office.

Abdullahi’s arrest and subsequent arraignment followed a petition from one Rasheed O. Taiwo, who claimed he paid a bribe of N1.8million to Umar, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja through the accused.

Taiwo alleged that, Umar who claimed to be presiding over a case in which he was involved, demanded a N10 million bribe as “settlement”, to clear him of all charges.

The petitioner further alleged that, after several negotiations, he paid N1.8 million as initial deposit, into the account of Ali Gambo Abdulllahi, in a new generation bank.

Count one reads:

“That you, Ali Gambo Abdullahi, sometime in August, 2013 at Abuja, within the judicial division of this Honourable Court did make a statement to one ABULMAJID IBRAHIM (A detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) while in the course of the exercise of the duty of his office that the sum of One Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (1, 800,000.00) paid into your Zenith account number 1002849471 on 12th December, 2012 by one Rasheed Owolabi was a payment made to assist you settle your father’s medical bill which statement you knew to be untrue and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 39 (2) (A) of the Economic and Financial Crimes act, 2004 and punishable under Section 39 (2) (B) of the same Act.”

The case was adjourned to October 21 and 22, 2015 for commencement of trial.

Nepotism and highhandedness

The operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC on April 1, 2014, grilled the embattled Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Umar for six hours before he was later released on administrative bail.

The commission, acting on petitions from aggrieved staff of the CCT, contractors and top public officials, summoned the chairman and some of his top officials to appear before its operatives for interrogation or be declared wanted.

Umar’s summon, which was then the second in two months, was a reflection of the pressure heaped on the anti-graft body by aggrieved staff of the tribunal.

The CCT was established in 1979 with the primary responsibility of adjudicating and ensuring the highest standard of public morality, transparency and accountability among public servants in the conduct of government business.

The embattled Danladi was engaged in a cat and mouse game with the EFCC and its operatives on the suspicion that he could be detained in connection with the allegations that he could not account for hundreds of millions of Naira meant for staff of the CCT.

Danladi had forcefully redeployed several staff under him in Abuja, to states, without due process and yet failed to inform the board of the tribunal of his actions and why they were warranted, forcing the staff to seeking redress at the EFCC.

Case With Chief Justice of The Federation

On May 18 2015, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council of Nigeria, had written a stern letter to Umar, cautioning him on the illegality of referring to himself, or being referred to as “Justice.”

In the letter titled “RE: Chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal Complaints and Observations: Addressing themselves or being addressed as Justice,” the CJN did not mince words in educating the chairman of the limits to his powers as enshrined in the constitution, and how wrongly he was using the “Justice” title.

Justice Mohammed noted that the National Judicial Council had observed that Umar and other members of the Tribunal, erroneously addressed themselves as justice.

The matter which was deliberated upon by the Council on December 10 2014, resolved to caution the tribunal members to desist from using the title.

The constitution, in establishing the CCT, made it clear that the chairman would be one who was indeed qualified to hold office as a judge of a superior court of record (a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases).

In section 318 (1), the constitution states that no member of the tribunal, not even the chairman, on appointment, is a judicial officer, unless he or she has been a judge of a superior court of record in Nigeria.

Also, only justices, judges and Kalis of superior courts of record are judicial officers, and only Judges and Justices were mandated by the constitution to be addressed and address themselves as “Justice.”

The CJN went on to mandate that Danladi and members guilty of the act, desist with immediate effect.

However, despite the warning, Umar is not on record to have refused the title.

With the numerous cases hanging over his head, it remains a huge concern to members of the public, the motive behind Danladi’s intense enthusiasm to prosecute the Senate President, on yet to be substantiated claims of fraudulent declaration of assets.

CCT