*Mild drama as Justice Danladi throws out Saraki’s counsel, Oluyede, from tribunal
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Umar Danladi has refused to disqualify himself from presiding over the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki for alleged false assets declaration.
On a day the Senate stopped debate on the planned amendment of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and shelved the invitation extended to Justice Danladi to appear before it over alleged fraud, Senate President Saraki had asked Justice Danladi to disqualify himself from his ongoing trial.
The application was filed by counsel to the Senate President at the tribunal on Wednesday.
Saraki had alleged that Justice Danladi is battling an allegation of fraud. He also alleged that the tribunal judge is biased against him and that he is not likely to get justice under the tribunal chairman.
The tribunal chairman on Thursday, however, turned down the application. But there was a mild drama at the tribunal on Thursday as Justice Danladi ordered the police to work out one of Saraki’s counsel, Raphael Ajibola.
Ajibola had insisted on moving his motion questing the competence of Justice Danladi to handle Saraki’s trial on the ground of the alleged fraud accusation against him. But the tribunal chairman who apparently had considered the motion in camera and elected to ignore it and continue with the case asked the police to throw Oluyede out of the court.
Oluyede had recently wangled his way into Saraki’s legal team when he claimed he filed an application, on the basis of his fundamental human rights, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the case against Saraki.
Oluyede is the lawyer who handled the case of Senator Buruji Kashamu from Ogun East against his alleged extradition to the US for alleged drugs smuggling.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had disclosed that it had given Justice Danladi a letter clearing him of the fraud allegation.
Justice Danladi had also turned down the prayer by Saraki’s counsel that the tribunal be mindful of the days for Senate plenary in fixing dates for the trial, saying its Saraki that is on trial and not the Senate.
Justice Danladi had said the trial of Saraki would be conducted daily from 10 am to 6 pm until the case is concluded.