The Federal Government on Wednesday faulted the fresh application filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, seeking the disqualification of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman, Danladi Umar, from the Senate president’s trial for false asset declaration.
The government, in its counter-affidavit filed against Saraki’s application by the lead prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the statement credited to Umar during the June 7 proceedings and on which basis Saraki was asking the CCT chairman to withdrawal from the trial, was quoted out of context.
Saraki had filed the application through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), on June 13, accusing Umar of making a remark showing his bias against him (Saraki) during the June 7 proceedings.
The CCT chairman had warned the defence against employing delay tactics to frustrate proceedings at the tribunal.
The government in its counter affidavit argued that should the CCT chairman disqualifies himself based on Saraki’s application, the tribunal would have taken over the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in deciding the appeal.
It noted that Umar, on the said June 7 sitting, stated clearly that “his mind is open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties.”
It added: “The statement quoted in the affidavit in support, allegedly made by the chairman of the honourable tribunal was quoted out of context without referring to the statement made by the chairman to the effect that his mind was open to do justice to this matter and that he has no prejudice against any of the parties.
“Since the charge was filed on September 17, 2015, the defendant has employed all forms of delay tactics to ensure that this matter is not expeditiously heard and to frustrate the prosecution of this case.”