Saraki to Tribunal: You’re are Biased Against Me

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has insisted that the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar must step down as the Chairman of the Tribunal trying him, citing bias as reason for asking Umar to disqualify.
Saraki is facing trial at the Tribunal for false assets declaration offences
At the resumed hearing Tuesday, defence Lawyer, Paul Erokoro argured that the utteraces of the Chairman, indicated that he (Umar) was biased and that his client will not get justice from the Tribunal.
During proceedings on June 7, Umar had told Saraki that he would face the full wrath of his trial no matter the delay tactics he employed.
Umar had warned Saraki that he would face the full consequences of his charges.
The CCT Chairman who was reacting to the complaints by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, on allegation of delay tactics against the defendant, said the consequences of the trial and charges will in no was be mitigated by delay tactics.
Umar said that he had taken note of the delay tactics being employed by Saraki’s lawyers, and warned that the tactics would in no way help Saraki.
“Im not happy at the delay tactics of defence counsel and I must say that the delay tactics will not affect the consequences of this Tribunal.
But in Tuesday’s proceedings, Erokoro, who said he had a sworn affidavit towards that effect, noted that the Tribunal must rescue itself for the sake of natural justice and fair hearing.
He said there were grounds on which a Judge steps down from a case before him.
According to him, when a Judge expresses his bias in a statement, when a Judge has been accused of bias, and when there is evidence that the Judge is going to be biased.
Erokoro said all these were present in the case.
However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Williams countered that If the Chairman disqualifies himself he would preempt the Court of Appear where a similar application of the defendant, asking Umar to disqualify himself, is pending.
He stated further that the Chairman used the word ‘consequene of trial’ and ‘not consequence of offence’
He said that the two statemens are different, noting that consequence of trial could either mean conviction or not guilty.
Williams therefore asked the Tribunal to disregard the defence counsel’s application and go on with Saraki’s trial.
The Tribunal adjourned till July 13 for ruling on the application.

Author: News Editor

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