Senate President Bukola Saraki has asked Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), to withdraw himself from his trial for alleged false declaration of assets.
In an application filed by Raphael Oluyede, Saraki’s lawyer, and seen by TheCable, the senate president asked Umar to disqualify himself from the case on the grounds that he was biased.
The application, which was filed on Wednesday at the CCT, read in part: “An order disqualifying/recusing the Honourable Justice Danladi Umar (Chairman of this tribunal) from sitting on the panel of this tribunal for hearing and determination of the charges filed in these proceedings for the reason that his continued presence on the said panel of this tribunal offends the provisions of section 36 (1) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which prescribes that ‘In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.’
It also read: “A likelihood of bias by the tribunal against the appellant… undermines and withdraws from the tribunal, the jurisdiction which it is normally endowed….”
In March, Saraki had filed an application asking the judge to declare he had no jurisdiction to hear the matter. But Umar dismissed his application and ordered the commencement of trial.