Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, has refused to withdraw from the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on charges of false asset declaration.
The senate president, through his counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, had filed an application asking the CCT chairman to step down from the case, saying that he had no confidence that the tribunal would be fair to him.
Saraki referred to a statement wherein Umar had suggested that the senate president was stalling the progress of the trial because he was afraid of the “final consequences.”
Ruling on the application on Wednesday, the CCT chairman held that there would be no one to try the case if he withdrew.
He said: “The application to excuse myself has not been contemplated in the constitution. In the absence of a chairman, this trial cannot go on, therefore I cannot excuse myself.
“The chairman is the tribunal, without the chairman there is no tribunal.
“The application of the applicant is founded on mere conjecture. The application of the applicant is not well-founded, it is hereby dismissed,” Umar ruled.
Recall that Saraki had in April filed a similar application, accusing Umar of corruption and alleging that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was influencing the chairman against him.
The application was however dismissed for lack of merit.