Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, has declared that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is not answerable to the Attorney General’s office, saying that the commission ha the legal prerogative to institute a suit against anyone found to have a case of fraud.
He also held that it was within the powers of EFCC to investigate him.
Ruling in the application by the Senate President for Umar to disqualify himself from the trial, over the case against him bordering on fraud, the tribunal’s chairman said since no case was found against him, his trial could not have been ordered by the Attorney General.
He therefore, said it was a matter of undue intimidation on the part of the defence to have come up with its application.
“The tribunal holds that the application of counsel to the accused lacks merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Umar held.
Counsel to the Senate President, Chief Ajibola Oluyede, had insisted that the CCT chairman was under investigation by the EFCC, the same agency that allegedly filed the criminal charges against him
Saraki has queried what he described as the purported clearance issued Umar by EFCC in relation to his alleged involvement N10million corruption case.
Dismissing the said letter of clearance, he contended that there was no time the EFCC cleared Umar, and that even where such clearance exists, it was a confirmation of his position that the CCT under Umar, cannot ensure fairness in his trial.
The CCT has dismissed the motion brought by Saraki asking the Chairman of the tribunal to disqualify himself from his trial for lacking in merit.
Saraki, in reaction, has filed a notice of appeal wherein, he asked the court to set aside the ruling of the tribunal and order Umar to disqualify himself from the case.
The appeal anchored on three grounds and filed by his lawyer, Prince Ajibola Oluyede, said the ruling of the tribunal was a miscarriage of justice.
The Senate President has also applied for the records of the proceedings, the motion, the counter-affidavits and a certified true copy of the ruling of the tribunal.
Meanwhile, Saraki pleaded not guilty to the three fresh corruption charges brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
With Saraki already facing a 13-count charge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the amended charges bordering on alleged failure to declare his interest in a foreign credit card account to which he allegedly transferred huge sums of money, while serving as governor of Kwara State, raised the counts to 16.