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Banex Plaza assault: Senate discontinues CCT chairman’s probe

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THE Nigerian Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition has discontinued the ongoing probe of Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Danladi Umar over an assault on a security guard at Banex Plaza, Abuja.

Chairman of the Committee Ayo Akinyelure, who announced this on Tuesday, said the decision was followed by a pending suit filed against the Senate by Umar at an Abuja Federal High Court.

Akinyelure said the CCT chairman had circumvented the Senate by going to court midway, having appeared before the committee twice.

“The CCT chairman appeared the first time only to deceive us to give him time to study the petition for which he was given three weeks, only for him to turn around to bring an originating summons,” Akinyelure said.

In the suit, Umar had contested the power of the committee to initiate the probe against him.

He prayed the court to determine if the “lawmakers were not usurping the powers of the police and judiciary in initiating the probe.”

He had specifically prayed the court to interpret if the “constitutional powers granted the Senate or the investigating committee covered public assaults and also if the functions were not exclusive to the police and the courts of law.”

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The ICIR had reported how Umar assaulted 22-year old Sargwak at Banex Plaza in Wuse 2, Abuja, on March 29.

Sargwak, who works for Jul Reliable Security Guards, a private outfit, was allegedly manhandled by Umar when he approached the judge for inappropriately parking his vehicle at the plaza’s parking lot.

In response to criticism of Umar’s action, the official statement from the CCT said it was the action of some ‘Biafran boys.’

“The boy was rude in his approach and threatened to deal with chairman if he refused to leave the scene,” the CCT spokesperson Ibraheem Al-Hassan had said.

Civil society organisations, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and other groups have condemned the alleged assault on Sargwak, stating that the display of ‘naked power’ would not be condoned from people who were expected to exhibit a high standard of conduct.

“Further, as a member of the legal profession, Danladi Yakubu Umar Esq. is expected, by the extant rules that regulate the conduct of legal practitioners in Nigeria, to maintain a high standard of professional conduct, and not to engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a member of the legal profession,” NBA said in a statement.

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