The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that the alleged N10 million bribe involving the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, is not weighty enough to warrant putting him on trial.
This is contained in a memorandum forwarded to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) by the EFCC obtained by the Street Journal on Wednesday.
The EFCC letter dated March 5, 2015, with reference no. EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56, is entitled “Investigation Report on N10m bribery allegation against the chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja”.
According to the commission, the evidence presented against the CCT Chairman were mere suspicions of bribe taking preferred against Umar which, in law, cannot take the place of proof.
“The evidence against him was not weighty and not sufficient to sustain a possible prosecution,” the document said in part.
It would be recalled that one Ali Abdullahi, Umar’s Personal Assistant, was alleged to have used his salary account at Zenith Bank to collect the graft receiving N1.8m in 2012 from one Rasheed Taiwo standing trial at the tribunal.
The EFCC stated in the letter personally signed by its immediate past Executive Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, that the complainant in the bribery saga, Mr. Rasheed Taiwo, a retired Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, was said to have failed to produce the alleged telephone conversations and text messages exchanged by him and Justice Umar.
The Former Customs Chief was said to have persistently claimed that he had lost his phone since 2012 and could not trace or recover it.
The EFCC noted that the telephone of the complainant would have been subjected to independent scientific analysis with a view to corroborating the bribery allegation against the CCT boss.
It, however, noted that Justice Umar admitted meeting the complainant in his chamber at the tribunal and that meeting was “most unethical and highly suspicious conduct on the part of the chairman.”