Group claims Justice Umar abandoned other cases for Saraki

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A group known as ‘Integrity Advocacy Nigeria’ has raised more issues about Umar

A group called Integrity Advocacy Nigeria led by one Tope Ajayi has raised several issues pertaining the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar as the trial of Senate president, Bukola Saraki.

The group alleged that Saraki and his defence team were being stampeded by Justice Umar, noting that it will seem like they are fighting a lost battle.

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Saraki during one of his appearances at the CCT
Justice Umar had insisted that the trial of Saraki must proceed on a daily basis in accordance with the provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA) which stipulates that once a trial commences, it should proceed daily.

The group however noted that two other cases have come up since the Saraki trial began. The case of the former minister of Niger Delta affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe and one Rasheed Taiwo, a former customs officer are the cases.

”The last time Orubebe appeared before the CCT was April 20 and his case was scheduled to be heard at 10am. Curiously, Saraki’s trial was also to come up at 10am that same day.

”Everyone waited to see how Justice Umar would resolve this obvious logjam. Not surprisingly, he adjourned Orubebe’s case for a whole month, till May 19.

”Even Orubebe’s lawyer’s vehement insistence that his client was ready for trial did not sway Umar. It was obvious he was only interested in trying Saraki,” the group alleged.

According to the group, a similar issue came up with the case of the customs officer whose case has been ongoing for three years, but Justice Umar would have none of that.

The group further alleged: ”It appears Justice Umar is not really interested in justice, He is only interested in convicting Saraki.”

Meanwhile, the corruption charges against Justice Umar took a new twist on Thursday, May 12, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) insisted that he was implicated in a N10 million bribery allegations.

Saraki and Umar have been having a running battle since the Senate president’s trial began. Saraki’s legal team had repeatedly stated that Umar is biased against their client.

On his part, Saraki had hinted that his ongoing trial at the CCT is as a result of the fact that he opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the APC in the build-up to the 2015 general election.

Saraki is facing the biggest challenge of his political life. The 53-year old was accused by the Code of Conduct Bureau of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor of Kwara state.

Other accusations leveled against the Senate president includes acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and operating foreign accounts as Kwara state governor.

Saraki has since denied the allegations. He went ahead to say that he declared his assets in 2007, 2011, and recently in 2015, and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) never wrote to complain of any inconsistencies.

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