Saraki’s lawyer would have been jailed – CCT Chairman, Umar

But for the intervention of other lawyers in court, Mr Danladi Umar, the Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal affirmed that he would have sent Raphael Oluyede, a lawyer in the defence team of Bukola Saraki, the President of Nigerian Senate who is standing trial on 13-count charge of false declaration of assets to prison.

Kanu Agabi, the lead defence counsel was not in court when there was an exchange of words between the Tribunal Chairman and Oluyede on Thursday morning.

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The exchange of words was over an application filed by the lawyer.

Oluyede had in the application asked Mr. Umar to disqualify himself from hearing the suit against Saraki over allegations that he is also being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC which is also leading the prosecution of the Senate President.

The exchange of words had degenerated into arguments during which Mr. Umar threatened to send the lawyer to prison for contempt.

On arrival, Agabi had briefly interrupted proceedings to apologize for the behaviour of a member of his team.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria told Mr Umar that Oluyede was a member of his team and was announced among the defence counsels on Wednesday.

He also urged the Tribunal Chairman not to judge the lawyer by his weakness.

“The point I was making was that when that application was filed, he filed it at a time he was not appearing and this is an issue tried at High Court which he brought it here,” Umar said.

“I have said I will not listen to that motion. I would have sent him to prison for contempt in the face of the court.

He was arguing with me. I would have sent him to jail. He would have been cooling his feet there now. Maybe from there, he will be taken to another place.

It was because other colleagues begged me that I allow him to be sit there now,” Mr Umar told Agabi.

Responding to Umar’s outburst, Agabi said: “Don’t be angry. If other people annoy you, would you send them to prison?,”. Agabi queried.

“In this case, I would have done that,” Mr Umar reaffirmed.

Agabi however appealed to him not to be annoyed with the lawyer.

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