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Why we couldn’t try CCT Chairman-EFCC
CCT Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar

Why we couldn’t try CCT Chairman-EFCC

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could not put the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar on trial over an allegation of N10 million bribery,  because the evidence against him was not weighty and sufficient to sustain a possible prosecution.

According to PRNigeria,  the anti-graft body claimed the facts as they were against the CCT chairman raised just mere suspicions, which in law, cannot take the place of proof. It states that: “The facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will, therefore, not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the offence.”

In a memorandum forwarded to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on March 5, the EFCC, however, confirmed that one  Ali Gambo Abdullahi, a personal assistant to the CCT boss, admitted receiving N1.8 million in 2012, from one Rasheed Taiwo, standing trial at the tribunal. The said Abdullahi was alleged to have used his salary account at Zenith Bank to collect the graft.

In the letter with a Reference No EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 (dated March 5), personally signed by the immediate past executive chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, the complainant in the bribery saga, Mr Rasheed Taiwo, a retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, was said to have failed to produce the alleged telephone conversations and text messages exchanged by him and Justice Umar.

Former  Customs chief was said to have persistently claimed that he had lost his phone since 2012 and could not trace or recover it.

EFCC said the telephone of the complainant would have been subjected to independent scientific analysis, with a view to corroborating the bribery allegation against the CCT boss.

Justice Umar was, however, said to have admitted meeting the complainant in his chamber at the tribunal and that meeting was most unethical and highly suspicious conduct on the part of the chairman.

The EFCC letter was entitled: “Investigation report on N10 million bribery allegation against the chairman, CCT, Abuja.”

PRNigeria further revealed that the former  Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr  Mohammed Bello Adoke, while responding to a request by the then Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the CCT chairman cannot be removed by a mere fiat of the executive arm of government.

Adoke, in a letter dated  March 25, told the SGF that the process for  removal of CCT chairman was cumbersome and tedious, because of the uniqueness of the law that backed the appointment.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that both the Presidency and the National Assembly shared the power to remove the CCT boss or any of the tribunal members.

 

The letter, with reference No. HAGF/SGF/2015/VOL.1/14, read in part: “I have examined the report of the EFCC chairman on the allegations levelled against the CCT chairman and your request for advice on the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. CAP. C.15 LFN 2004 and wish to observe that the procedure for the removal of CCT chairman is tedious.

“It is apposite to note that by the provisions of section 22 (3) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, the president can only remove the chairman or  member of the tribunal

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